Site cho­sen for new respite fa­cil­ity

Pilbara News - - News - Re­becca Parish

■ A long-awaited respite fa­cil­ity in Port Hed­land is a step closer af­ter a State Gov­ern­ment an­nounce­ment last Wed­nes­day declar­ing Cooke Point as the site for the cen­tre.

Dis­abil­ity Ser­vices Min­is­ter He­len Mor­ton said the site for the Pil­bara Re­gional Hol­i­day Home Pro­ject was per­fect, with more than 2000sqm avail­able at the Athol Street lo­ca­tion.

Ms Mor­ton said the pur­pose­built fa­cil­ity would be aimed at cater­ing for Pil­bara res­i­dents, their fam­i­lies and car­ers at an ideal lo­ca­tion with am­ple space.

The Hous­ing Au­thor­ity has pro­vided the land for the pro­ject and will work with the Dis­abil­ity Ser­vices Com­mis­sion to de­velop a model and con­struct and pro­vide on­go­ing man­age­ment of the cen­tre.

Hous­ing Min­is­ter Colin Holt said the depart­ment was pleased to be work­ing with the com­mis­sion on a pro­ject which would pro­vide much-needed respite ser­vices in the re­gion.

“Peo­ple in the Pil­bara have been say­ing for a long time this ser­vice is re­quired,” he said.

“We will work closely with the com­mis­sion to de­sign and build a prop­erty that meets the needs of lo­cal peo­ple.”

Af­ter 20 years of lob­by­ing the State Gov­ern­ment for a cen­tre, Hed­land Com­mu­nity Liv­ing As­so­ci­a­tion chair­woman Joan Fo­ley said con­struc­tion was well over­due.

“These are the peo­ple that are most frag­ile,” she said.

“For us to get this, we’ve stood with ban­ners in 40-de­gree heat.

“I’m very pleased with this re­sult and I can’t re­ally be­lieve its hap­pen­ing.” Ms Fo­ley said pre­vi­ously peo­ple with a dis­abil­ity in the Pil­bara were un­der con­stant care of fam­ily mem­bers and in some sit­u­a­tions were housed in aged care, de­spite not be­ing el­derly.

She said the an­nounce­ment was a huge tes­ta­ment to the peo­ple who had protested, signed pe­ti­tions and sup­ported the cause, and she thanked them for their ef­forts.

More than $2.5 mil­lion has been al­lo­cated to the pro­ject, with a lo­cal com­mu­nity li­ai­son group es­tab­lished to en­sure com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the pro­ject team and the com­mu­nity.

Con­struc­tion is due to start this fi­nan­cial year and a reg­is­tra­tion of in­ter­est, ad­ver­tised to gauge the level of in­ter­est in the not-for-profit com­mu­nity ser­vices sec­tor, has iden­ti­fied po­ten­tial ser­vice providers.

Pic­ture: Chris Lees

Hed­land Com­mu­nity Liv­ing As­so­ci­a­tion chair­woman Joan Fo­ley.

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