Bipartisan work rebuilds kitchen
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.”