CONSTRUCTION has started on a long-awaited $1.2-million Colac youth health centre.
Colac building firm Spence Constructions started preparing the site for Colac Area Health’s Youth Health Hub yesterday, after almost two years of state and federal government administrative delays.
The hub, on the corner of Miller and Hart streets, will provide health services to young people aged between 12 and 25 and will feature a youth drop-in area, three consulting rooms, a meeting room and offices for 11 staff members.
CAH chief Geoff Iles said it was exciting to see the Youth Health Hub going ahead and he said the health service expected contractors to finish the Federal Government-funded project in mid-2014.
He said the health service would continue its push to secure funding to include youth mental health service Headspace in Colac’s Youth Health Hub.
“Mental health is the key theme of the Youth Health Hub,” Mr Iles said.
“We will be having co-location over here with Jigsaw, a mental health service for young people and young adults – that will give us a significant theme on which to commence the Youth Health Hub.”
Member for Corangamite Darren Cheeseman was at the site yesterday and said the health hub, which the Federal Government funded through its health and hospital agreement with Victoria, filled a service gap in Colac.
“There’s no doubt about it that mental health services, particularly for young people, are important services that have been lacking,” Mr Cheeseman said.
“To see this now being a construction site being turned into a modern, first-class youth health space is a fantastic thing.”
CAH board chairman Tony Baldwin said the hub would provide “one point of entry” to health services for Colac’s youths.
“This is fantastic – it’s a gap in our service profile and we are absolutely ecstatic that we have finally got it underway,” Mr Baldwin said.
“I’d just like to thank Darren for his contribution and look forward to his ongoing support in lobbying to populate this with services including Headspace.”
CAH has again chosen a Colac-based company for a project after Spence Construction also built its student accommodation building and BDH Constructions won the tender for its theatre improvement project.
Spence Construction director Glenn McVilly said his company enjoyed working with CAH.
“It’s been great, we always love to do work for CAH and it’s great for the town to have facilities like this being built,” Mr McVilly said.
“We’ve done a bit of work on this one but we’ve got it across the line which is good.”