Council grants conditional lease to $7 million hospice
THE Fraser Coast's first palliative care centre outside of the region's hospitals is a step closer after a lease was agreed to by the council.
Fraser Coast councillors voted to agree in principle to a peppercorn lease of council-owned land to the Fraser Coast Hospice Association at last month's meeting in Maryborough.
Chief executive Ken Diehm will also identify a suitable parcel of land and lease conditions for future consideration.
This move brings the hospice another step closer to construction after the $7 million project was pledged by Hinkler MP Keith Pitt in March.
Agreements have been signed to deliver the project under the first round of the Federal Government's Community Health and Hospitals Program
The council delayed voting on approving land for the hospice at June's ordinary meeting, stating they needed more information to consider it.
Councillor Anne Maddern said the development was a necessary consideration for those nearing the end of their life.
"Unfortunately we do get to that stage and there are those who would choose to die at home," Cr Maddern said.
"A lot of people choose this option and there are occasions where the support needed for a patient can't be offered at the hospital.
"A development like this fills a gap so people can go to that transition place where the right medical support is provided."
Cr Maddern said the hospice association did not have ownership of the land but the agreement was similar to other not-for-profit organisations in the community with lease agreements.
"It's up to the CEO to provide possible locations ... (but) if infrastructure is needed, then that arrangement can be finalised," she said.