A petition calling for radiotherapy services in the Eurobodalla has been officially received by local politicians.
The petition was kickstarted by the One New Eurobodalla group in May 2022, and was distributed through many channels in the community: pubs, coffeeshops, chemists, doctor's surgeries, markets and supermarkets.
It calls for the provision of radiotherapy services in the new Eurobodalla Regional Hospital.
Representatives from One New Eurobodalla and Can Assist Bega presented the 5295-signature strong petition to Bega MP Dr Michael Holland and Gilmore MP Fiona Phillips in Moruya on October 4.
Dr Holland will present the petition to the clark of the NSW Legislative Assembly next week.
Co-head petitioner Fitzroy Boulting said he had experienced "extraordinary acts of truly heartwarming support" during the process of recruiting signatures.
"You could not ask for more emphatic backing," Mr Boulting said.
"It sends a very powerful message from our community.
"The community are sick of being second class citizens and being forced to campaign for services in the healthcare space, which should never require it in the first place and which other communities in urban centers take automatically for granted."
Dr Holland said a radiotherapy centre was crucially important for the future of the Eurobodalla Shire and Bega Electorate.
He said one third of men and one quarter of women would have a cancer diagnoses by the time they were 75. By 2031, he estimated there would be a 64 per cent increases in cancer cases in the region.
"Half of the patients diagnosed with cancer would benefit from radiotherapy, yet only a third receive it - largely because of geographical factors," he said.
Currently, the nearest radiotherapy services to Bega and the Eurobodalla are in Canberra and Nowra.
Dr Holland said travelling hundreds of kilometres for multiple hours caused further strain and discomfort on patients already in the most stressful situations of their lives.
Ms Phillips said she would keep fighting for the service to be available in the Eurobodalla.
"We absolutely have to have a radiation therapy centre here in Moruya," she said.
Ms Phillips and Federal Labor committed $8 million to support building the infrastructure for the project, however the NSW Health plans for the hospital don't include a radiotherapy centre.
Ms Phillips said she "could not believe" the NSW Government's decision to not include a radiotherapy centre in the new hospital plans.
"It is the worst decision I have ever seen," she said.
"There's been other centers set up in regional areas. They can do it there. They can do it here on the far south coast."
A written response from the minister to the petition will be received in five weeks.