Hills care shortage
AGED care remains in crisis in the City of Kalamunda, with a new report showing the region is now more than 400 high-care beds short and demand increasing daily.
Report to Friends of Aged Care Spring Update 2017 author Iris Jones said of the seven top sites for a future aged care facility, two were now off the table.
This includes Pickering Brook and Wilkins Road after the WA Governor revoked a recommendation to rezone the site.
“Our best chance for a new facility now remains with Hall & Prior’s Karingal Green development in High Wycombe,” she said.
“It has taken 11 years for this 160-bed proposal to progress despite the fact the land was already zoned for aged care.
“Hall & Prior expect the preferred tenderer will be appointed next month and construction will start in February 2018.”
Mrs Jones said a 120-bed facility on Gavour Road in Wattle Grove was the next best chance for a facility, but was at least two years from completion.
“This was first proposed 10 years ago and unanimously endorsed by council twice,” she said.
“In June, the State Government finally agreed for it to proceed and comprehensive plans are being drawn for lodging with the City.
“The proponent is fine-tuning plans for the nursing home to increase the number of beds given we are facing a tsunami of dementia patients.”
Mrs Jones said it was impossible to determine when other potential sites, including the Kalamunda Hospital site, Mercy Health proposal in Lesmurdie and Valencia proposal in Carmel, would come to fruition but they were still viable options.
“The fact remains aged care is still in crisis in this municipality and will be for some years to come,” she said.
“We need 435 beds by 2021 and this is just to catch up.”
Federal Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said the delays were frustrating.
“While I was pleased to see 277 new residential aged care places allocated to Perth’s eastern areas in the 2016–17 Aged Care Approvals Round, I am frustrated by the delay in progressing sites and projects in Kalamunda,” he said.
Kalamunda MLA Matthew Hughes said there was scope for new beds at Sunshine Park in Lesmurdie.
“Owners Roshana are seeking to expand their operations utilising adjacent land and I expect an announcement before the end of the month,” he said.
Mrs Jones said additional beds allocated to Villa Maria, Parry House and Valencia were just the beginning.
“Proponents now have to raise the money to build the new facilities to house these beds and progress drawing plans through council,” she said. “The turning of the sod for these allocations could be three to four years, or on past experience, it could take much longer.”
She said there was no perfect site in the City for an aged care development.
“The perfect site is close to sewerage connection and has no conservation issues or local residents who will object,” she said.
“It helps if it is flat, bushfire safe and close to shops, doctors and buses.
“There are no known sites which tick all these boxes.”