Bi­par­ti­san work re­builds kitchen

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - NEWS -

THE Vic­to­rian gov­ern­ment has ac­knowl­edged the work of Bill Til­ley ( MLA, Be­nam­bra) in ad­vo­cat­ing a grant to up­grade Indigo North Health’s kitchen in which staff pre­pare more than 55,000 meals a year for aged care res­i­dents and peo­ple in the wider com­mu­nity.

La­bor’s Ja­clyn Symes ( MLC, North­ern Vic­to­ria) said she had worked closely with Mr Til­ley, a Lib­eral par­lia­men­tar­ian, to en­sure the com­mu­nity health ser­vice re­ceived $ 215,300 from the state gov­ern­ment’s re­gional health in­fra­struc­ture fund.

Ms Symes said the up­grade would de­liver a “state- of- the- art kitchen” at Indigo North Health, which ser­vices Ruther­glen and Chiltern with high qual­ity res­i­den­tial aged care, re­tire­ment vil­lage liv­ing and a wide range of com­mu­nity health and child­care ser­vices.

The kitchen also pre­pares meals for Indigo Shire Coun­cil’s ‘ Meals on Wheels’ in the two com­mu­ni­ties and Wah­gun­yah.

Ms Symes said the kitchen’s in­fra­struc­ture had needed a ma­jor over­haul.

“I am very pleased to have se­cured this fund­ing which will al­low Indigo North Health to fast track its ma­jor re­fur­bish­ment of the kitchen,” Ms Symes said.

“The re­fur­bish­ment is ur­gently needed to im­prove safety and ef­fi­ciency for staff and cooks pre­par­ing meals.”

Ms Symes said the fund­ing would pay for new ap­pli­ances, too, and would pre­vent the clo­sure of the kitchen.

She said she had worked closely with Indigo North Health chief ex­ec­u­tive Shane Kirk and Mr Til­ley to se­cure the fund­ing.

Mr Kirk said the money would en­able the ser­vice’s cater­ing de­part­ment to be re­fur­bished, en­sur­ing that it could con­tinue to pro­vide meals, not only for the res­i­dents in Glen­view Res­i­den­tial Aged Care fa­cil­ity, but oth­ers from Chiltern, Wah­gun­yah and Ruther­glen who re­ceive Meals on Wheels and other meals from the kitchen.

` Mr Til­ley said the fund­ing was a great re­sult af­ter 12 months of lob­by­ing Ms Symes and Health Min­is­ter Jill Hen­nessy and work­ing with Mr Kirk.

“This should have been done much sooner but for some rea­son the bu­reau­crats chose to ig­nore what was a press­ing need,” he said.

“Now they have fi­nally found then money but only af­ter a food safety au­dit threat­ened to shut the kitchen.

“The min­is­ter now needs to de­ter­mine where Indigo North Health sits in the pub­lic sys­tem and en­sure the con­fu­sion over fund­ing streams can be pre­vented in the fu­ture.”

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