Mayor Richie Williamson and Member for Page Janelle Saffin launch a health plan for the Clarence community.
Mayor Richie Williamson and Member for Page Janelle Saffin launch a health plan for the Clarence community. Adam Hourigan

$700,000 will boost health goals

CLARENCE Valley residents will soon have access to a cornucopia of healthy lifestyle programs with Page MP Janelle Saffin yesterday announcing more than $700,000 in federal funding for the area.

The funding is part of a $5.6 million package earmarked for projects across NSW by Health Minister Nicola Roxon as part of the Federal Government's $72 million Healthy Communities Initiative.

Clarence Valley Council (CVC) applied for a share of the funding for its Healthy Clarence Communities plan.

Ms Saffin was in Grafton yesterday to announce CVC had been successful.

“This is an initiative of the Clarence Valley Council, it went forward from them. There's about $5.6 million available for NSW. Eight local governments applied and Clarence Valley Council was one of them – so it was quite competitive,” Ms Saffin said.

She said CVC's plan of delivering a healthier lifestyle to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, along with the unemployed and the elderly, was a worthy recipient.

Mayor Richie Williamson welcomed the announcement and said the money would be put to good use in the community through a number of programs which will begin shortly, including healthy living expos, travelling road shows visiting remote communities, education programs and more.

“The money will go towards a number of programs spread right throughout the Clarence,” Cr Williamson said.

“We'll target some indigenous programs and those vulnerable people in our community.”

Cr Williamson added that although the programs to be funded by the grant would have a direct effect on the community, it would also have valuable flow-on effects in the future.

“Preventative action in our community is certainly something that pays dividends through people not getting sick, people not going to hospital and not putting extra demands on our hospital services,” he said at yesterday's funding announcement.



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