Let­ters aim to sup­port cot­tages

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - NEWS - Jac­inta Can­ta­tore

THE Brunswick River Cot­tages com­mit­tee has drafted a let­ter of sup­port in or­der to help the project se­cure fund­ing.

$2.3 mil­lion al­lo­cated by the pre­vi­ous State gov­ern­ment was with­drawn in Septem­ber when the new Gov­ern­ment’s bud­get was an­nounced.

The money, al­lo­cated in Jan­uary 2017 through Roy­al­ties for Re­gions, was with­drawn well be­fore any ques­tions were raised by the re­cent Lan­goulant in­quiry into Roy­al­ties for Re­gions.

The com­mit­tee is now ap­ply­ing for the funds through the Re­gional Aged Ac­com­mo­da­tion Pro­gram, but it is wor­ried the num­ber of other pro­grams ap­ply­ing for the same funds could cre­ate tough com­pe­ti­tion.

“Eighty other projects had their fund­ing with­drawn at the same time as us,” com­mit­tee chair­man Ken Hart said.

“I pre­sume all 80 will be ap­ply­ing for this fund­ing again, which is a lot less than in the pre­vi­ous pool of funds.”

Com­mit­tee mem­bers have dis­trib­uted the pro-forma let­ters, in­clud­ing en­velopes, to the Brunswick Post Of­fice and Com­mu­nity Re­source Cen­tre.

Copies will also be dis­trib­uted to­day in the re­source cen­tre’s ‘Moospa­per’ for peo­ple to sign and send.

The let­ter, ad­dressed to Mur­ray-Welling­ton MLA Robyn Clarke, cites the age­ing pop­u­la­tion as the driv­ing force be­hind the need for 12 two-bed­room cot­tages for low­in­come peo­ple over 55.

It also out­lines the re­cent in­crease in the num­ber of res­i­dents aged over 65 years, which spiked by 28 per cent be­tween 2011 and 2016. Out­lin­ing the eco­nomic ben­e­fits the cot­tages would help keep in the town, the let­ter also fo­cuses on the so­cial ben­e­fits of this ac­com­mo­da­tion type.

The ac­com­mo­da­tion would be de­signed for cou­ples to re­main to­gether, even if their care needs dif­fered.

“These cot­tages are im­por­tant for Brunswick’s eco­nomic and so­cial fu­ture,” he said.

“It will keep older peo­ple lo­cal and near to their fam­i­lies.

“The so­cial fab­ric of the town needs its grand­par­ents.”

Mr Hart said once the let­ters reached Ms Clarke’s of­fice, she had agreed to for­ward them to the Aged Care Min­is­ter Ken Wy­att.

These cot­tages are im­por­tant for Brunswick’s eco­nomic and so­cial fu­ture. -Ken Hart

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