Plans for the redevelopment of Lithgow Aged Care’s facilities can now begin in earnest, after it was granted 73 new aged care beds and a capital grant on May 26.
Federal Member for Calare Andrew Gee announced the allocation, which was necessary for the financial sustainability of the redevelopment of the Cooinda and Tanderra complex.
The bed allocation will bring the total number of beds in Lithgow Aged Care to 168.
“This is terrific news for the Lithgow area,” Mr Gee said.
“The community has been fighting for these aged care beds for years.
“They’ve had two applications in years gone by knocked back and they couldn’t get it over the line.
“The Lithgow community has been absolutely united and today it’s finally been delivered to them.”
Lithgow Aged Care CEO Sharon Holt said the announcement, which was a package valued at $8.7 million in total, was a very welcome one.
“The community of Lithgow is the big winner,” she said in a statement.
“Not only will the aged residents of Lithgow benefit, but there will be increased employment through staffing, supply and contractor services.”
The allocation of beds was made through the Coalition Government’s 2016-17 aged care approvals round.
After its two previously unsuccessful applications, Lithgow Aged Care took its lobbying, with the help of Mr Gee directly to the Federal Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt AM earlier this year.
Plans for the construction of the new Lithgow Aged Care facility have already been approved. The bed allocation means it can move to the next stage, finalising the detailed plans and calling tenders.
Construction should begin in 2018 and take two to three years.
“Lithgow Aged Care’s strategy has been to develop a new facility that will satisfy the increasing need for aged care residential places in Lithgow,” Ms Holt said.
Mr Gee highlighted the importance of allowing people to age in their own communities.
“If our older population can’t stay in our communities that they love, they will simply move away,” he said.
“It’s very important that they’re able to stay in and around their support networks and that’s another reason why this announcement today is just so welcome.”