Efforts to establish a low-cost veterinary clinic at Campbells Creek received a big boost on Friday, with the announcement of a $200,000 grant from the state government to kick-start the vision.
A determined team of locals have joined forces to see the concept for the new Regional Community Vet Clinic become reality.
Their hopes to see it be up and running in about 12 months’ time took a big bound forward when Bendigo West MP Maree Edwards announced the $200,000 grant under the state’s Animal Welfare Grants Program.
“Regional Community Vet Clinic have plans to expand right across the region to include places like Maryborough and Creswick and the plan behind the clinic is to provide low-cost vet services,” Ms Edwards said.
The vision to create the new clinic is being driven by a team of three determined directors – Castlemaine veterinarian Dr Yvette Berkeley, Robyn Slattery who has an extensive background in admin and animal welfare, and IT project manager James Mack.
“We saw the demand for it,” Mr Mack told the Express during Friday’s announcement at the Campbells Creek Community Centre where the new clinic is planned to be built.
The new clinic has both state government and Mount Alexander Shire Council support with deputy mayor Cr Rosie Annear attending Friday’s announcement.
Cr Annear spoke glowingly of the vision that aims to provide basic vet care such as microchipping, de-sexing, dental care, health checks, vaccinations and minor lump removals.
“We just need to find another $200,000. We need to double what we have now,” Ms Slattery told the Express.
“For us, it’s about being able to help socially disadvantaged members of our community to maintain healthy animals.”
Next steps will involve raising another $200,000 in funds to match the state grant, she said.
“So more grant applications, GoFundMe crowdfunding …whatever we can do,” Ms Slattery said.
“It’s an amazing grant to get the project off the ground, with the support of the Victorian state government and Mount Alexander Shire Council and the Campbells Creek Community Centre,” Dr Berkeley said.
“We’ve still got a fair way to go but with this grant we’ll be able to get this off the ground and help regional Victorians access vet care irrespective of their finances.”