Cot­tages ges fund­ing in limbo

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - FRONT PAGE - David Charlesworth

THE ex­pan­sion of Brunswick River Cot­tages has taken a blow with fund­ing for the low in­come pen­sioner hous­ing pro­ject not in­cluded in the State Bud­get.

Com­mit­tee pres­i­dent Ken Hart said when the Bud­get was an­nounced ear­lier this month, $2.3 mil­lion al­lo­cated by the pre­vi­ous State Gov­ern­ment had been with­drawn.

“It was all bud­geted for, signed, sealed and de­liv­ered and they’ve with­drawn it,” Mr Hart said.

The grant was to fund stages two and three of the $2.7 mil­lion pro­ject, build­ing eight res­i­den­tial units for low in­come pen­sion­ers and four life­time ten­ancy units.

The re­main­der of the fund­ing would be pro­vided by the Har­vey Shire Coun­cil and the com­mit­tee.

Mr Hart said the money was pro­vided as part of the Re­gional Aged Ac­com­mo­da­tion Pro­gram, of which the State Gov­ern­ment an­nounced an­other fund would be open early next year.

Murray-Welling­ton MLA Robyn Clarke said she would be meet­ing with the com­mit­tee to help with any fund­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“Whilst the loss of fund­ing isn’t ideal for the com­mu­nity, the Brunswick River Cot­tages will be able to reap­ply for fund­ing next year through the Re­gional Aged Ac­com­mo­da­tion Pro­gram,” she said.

Har­vey shire pres­i­dent Ta­nia Jack­son said the de­ci­sion was dis­ap­point­ing but not un­ex­pected, with no news on the grant money since the an­nounce­ment in Jan­uary by the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment.

“Hav­ing not heard about that all year we were fear­ful,” she said.

Cr Jack­son said $100,000 had been re­ceived from the State Gov­ern­ment which would al­low for the de­tailed plan­ning and prepa­ra­tion to move ahead while the re­main­der of the fund­ing was sought.

Cr Jack­son said the ex­pan­sion of the fa­cil­i­ties would keep more peo­ple in the com­mu­nity as they aged and closer to their fam­i­lies.

“We very much want peo­ple to stay in small towns as they down­size and age,” she said.

Mr Hart said he had been pleased with sup­port from the coun­cil for the pro­ject which had not wa­vered even with the loss of fund­ing.

Mr Hart said the pro­ject had all the State Gov­ern­ment could want by keep­ing se­niors in their com­mu­ni­ties with all the so­cial and eco­nomic ben­e­fits, di­vert­ing se­niors from the HomesWest wait­ing list and work­ing with the Brunswick Com­mu­nity Re­source Cen­tre to run the fa­cil­ity.

“This pro­ject just ticks so many boxes, it should have been un­touch­able,” he said.

“I’ll be very dis­ap­pointed if fund­ing has stayed in place for mon­u­ments and white ele­phants.”

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