Hilltop funding to benefit Deni district

By Deniliquin Pastoral Times

A carer accommodation centre that gets extensive use from Deniliquin and district patients has received $1.9 million to expand its vital service by more than one third.

The commonwealth government has allocated the funding towards the $3.8 million Stage 2 Hilltop Patient and Carer Accommodation Centre expansion project.

The centre provides accommodation adjacent the Albury Regional Cancer Centre for many cancer patients and their families who need to be close to their treating hospital.

Deniliquin’s Garry Baker has been a regular guest at the Hilltop Accommodation Centre while undergoing cancer treatment over the past 18 months and said the facilities provided had been ‘‘invaluable’’.

‘‘I have to be at the adjacent Regional Cancer Centre early on the morning of treatment, so we need to be in Albury the previous evening. The centre is convenient, with everything you need for a comfortable stay,’’ Mr Baker said.

‘‘I was president of Deniliquin Rotary when the club made a significant contribution to the accommodation centre’s construction, and had no idea back then that I would soon be staying there. When fundraising for the upgrade is underway I hope the Deniliquin district is again generous, because many people from our region stay at Hilltop.

‘‘This is partly the reason why the second stage is needed. Fortunately I am not going to Albury as often as I was a year ago, but it’s comforting to know Hilltop is there when it’s required.’’

Federal Member for Farrer Sussan Ley announced the grant last week as a part of the Building Better Regions Fund.

‘‘The demand on Hilltop is growing fast, so the need is now to build extra space during the centre’s peak treatment and rehabilitation periods. This Stage 2 construction will add another 10 guest rooms and associated facilities, increasing capacity by 3650 guest nights each year,’’ she said.