Cottages ges funding in limbo
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said when the Budget was announced earlier this month, $2.3 million allocated by the previous State Government had been withdrawn.
“It was all budgeted for, signed, sealed and delivered and they’ve withdrawn it,” Mr Hart said.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.”