SHIRE documents show that it is planning a retirement or lifestyle village for the bushland reserve on Wilkins Road, Kalamunda, with only a small fraction of the area to be occupied by an 80 to 100-bed aged-care facility.
The proposed zoning does not even require aged care to be built; it states only that at least one occupant of any dwelling must be over 55. The concept plan even shows boat and caravan parking, hardly a need of aged-care residents.
Unfortunately, it will be a long wait for those expecting to get into aged care on Wilkins Road, if it happens at all.
The Shire’s own advice states that often the independent living units (villas) need to be built first to then fund the residential aged care. This will only happen if the Shire can first acquire the land from the State Government, get federal environmental approval, mitigate bushfire risk and find a willing developer for this difficult site.
We certainly need more aged-care beds in the Shire so community members do not have to travel far to visit their loved ones.
The Shire should be supporting ageing residents in their own homes and actively encouraging the development of smaller, more easily built facilities specifically for aged care.
It should not be asking the State Government to rezone our reserves and should withdraw its rezoning request for Wilkins Road.
TIM COLEGATE, Walliston.