Mertome Retirment Village residents face uncertain future


Mertome resident Peter Carton, Noel ‘Ossie’ Schokman and Maureen McCormack at the village. |Picture: Toyah Shakespeare
Mertome resident Peter Carton, Noel ‘Ossie’ Schokman and Maureen McCormack at the village. |Picture: Toyah Shakespeare

MERTOME Retirement Village residents are in a “state of flux” after Bayswater City Council moved to seek a professional aged care operator to take on the management and redevelopment of the village.

Discussions about the future of village have now spanned five years, with the council considering different options after a $170 million redevelopment proposal was shelved in 2014.

Mertome resident Noel “Ossie” Schokman said he wanted the City of Bayswater to retain ownership and manage the facility.

His wife Heather Schokman said residents were concerned about what would happen to their homes.

“Everything is in a state of flux at the moment, nobody’s feeling comfortable,” she said.

Mertome Gardens resident Peter Carton said he was concerned there would be increased costs for residents under a new operator.

He said, for example, the city currently paid for repairs and maintenance.

“Leaseholders have to make a profit because they are a business,” he said. “It will be more expensive for residents than it is now.

“It will be better for the (city) but not for us.”

Resident Maureen McCor-mack said: “Are they going to relocate us somewhere else?”

Mayor Barry McKenna said a long-term lease was the best option for the village’s future and recognised the wishes of residents who wanted the city to retain ownership.

“Unfortunately, the city does not have the expertise that is available to a professional retirement village operator nor the resources to undertake the redevelopment.

“Operating a retirement village in today’s legislative environment is increasingly complex and local governments are not best positioned to be able to deliver that kind of service.

Cr McKenna said at 50 years old, the village’s infrastructure was coming to the end of its operating life.

He said the city would consider several operators.