City of Bayswater councillor warns against privatisation of aged-care facility Mertome Village

City of Bayswater councillor warns against privatisation of aged-care facility Mertome Village

HANDING over control of Mertome Village from the City of Bayswater to a private aged-care operator would be a diabolical move, Councillor Terry Kenyon says.

His comments come after the Eastern Reporter report ‘Aged-care facility may get private operator’ on November 11.

At a special meeting last month, council agreed behind closed doors to further investigate two options, including selling the asset to a professional aged care operator, or having a joint partnership with a specialist operator that would manage the village redevelopment.

The council resolution included caveats to ensure residents would be protected in the event of either option being adopted.

Plans for the redevelopment were announced last year to include an 80-bed residential care facility and 316 independent living apartments ranging from two to seven storeys, which councillors voted on.

Cr Kenyon, a strong aged-care advocate, said he was gutted because in 1972 Mertome was the first village of its kind to be constructed by local government and now council was letting elderly residents down.

‘After 23 years in local government, I have never seen anything so diabolical against the aged citizens,’ he said.

‘To turn around and dump the aged persons and sell them off is absolutely unnecessary.

‘It’s OK to have caveats on this and do that, but at the end of everything we’re just going to walk away from the aged and leave them to fend for themselves.

‘The aged care has never cost the ratepayers a cent.

‘Aged-care facilities are all paid for, we’ve got $10 million in the bank and we have no debt associated with it.’

Cr Kenyon said he had received more than 50 phone calls from residents worried about their futures.

‘Caveats don’t make them feel any better at home,’ he said.’What council is doing to aged care is disgusting.’