Aged care activists worried about aging Shire of Kalamunda nursing facilities

Aged care activists worried about aging Shire of Kalamunda nursing facilities

NO new nursing homes have been built in the Shire of Kalamunda since the 1970s.

Aged care activists are concerned an ageing population will be demanding aged care beds and facilities in the coming years that do not exist.

The State Opposition has released a plan for a fast-tracked delivery of aged care facilities.

MORE: Wattle Grove activists win defamation fight

Opposition Leader Mark McGowan said he would introduce a multi-faceted plan to make aged care providers develop new facilities.

“Demand for hospital beds currently outstrips supply in this State,” Mr McGowan said.

A proposed site at Gavour Road in Wattle Grove has been delayed for the past 10 years under former planning minister John Day and WAPC conditions.

Mr McGowan said there were currently nearly 150 elderly people waiting in public hospitals for aged care places.

“The average wait for an elderly person in hospital to be transferred to an aged care bed is 68 days,” he said.

“At a cost of approximately $1910 per day, this is hardly the best use of taxpayers’ money.”

While Gavour Road landowner Ross Leighton is a one-time successful accredited aged care provider in Perth, the Government has so far refused to approve his submission for an aged care facility on the Wattle Grove site.

Questions sent to Mr Day and current Planning Minister Donna Faragher about the delay have not been answered.

In a submission to the Draft North East sub-Regional planning framework, business consultant Kevin Goss said former Planning Minister Mr Day appeared to have drawn a boundary around the Gavour Road site to excise the proponent for the Wattle Grove site from future urban zoning, despite the area being earmarked in Perth and Peel@3.5million as one of the properties within the urban boundary.

Mr Day has refused to answer questions on the Gavour Road site, instead issuing the Reporter with a statement which said: “I am fully engaged on this issue and I certainly do not accept any assertion of ‘passing the buck’.

“Any questions regarding the most recent Wattle Grove proposal should be directed to the Minister for Planning.”

Mrs Faragher said she “recently met with the Shire of Kalamunda to discuss a range of planning matters”.

“The Shire advised me of their views on Amendment 57 relating to Gavour Road, Wattle Grove, at the meeting. I will consider these views and all other relevant matters when the amendment is presented to me for determination.”

Sitting on the Aged Care Committee, which works out of the office of Hasluck MHR Ken Wyatt in Forrestfield, Lesmurdie aged care activist Iris Jones said she had seen the paperwork for about
24 potential aged care sites in the Shire of Kalamunda.

“Very few have the potential to get up; this proposal is the only one which is ready to roll,” she said.

“This is a social issue not a planning issue. We are a community in crisis.

“Our elderly are filling up facilities in municipalities across the metro area because they can’t get a bed here.”

Mr Leighton’s proposal is for a 140-bed nursing home and independent living units.

He said he did not know why the delays had been so protracted.

“We are completely at a loss to know why this department has not given this a tick,” he said.