Photo caption: Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton pictured with Gilgandra Mayor Doug Batten and Jack Towney Hostel Board Chairman Michael Cain at the opening of the Jack Towney Hostel extensions in 2018.
A Gilgandra residential aged care facility will be significantly upgraded as part of a Morrison Government grant aimed at strengthening aged care services in remote communities.
Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services, Richard Colbeck, and Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton, welcomed the investment under the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care (NATSIFAC) Program’s infrastructure and equipment grants which will see $5.2 million allocated across services to improve the lives of older First Nations people.
Work at Gilgandra Shire Council’s Jack Towney Hostel will see 11 hostel rooms upgraded and furniture and equipment replaced under a $343,583 grant.
The Jack Towney Hostel is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specific aged care facility which aims to cater to the needs of its residents while also maintaining their independence.
It was established by Aboriginal community leader Joy Trudgett, a fierce local campaigner who actively promoted Indigenous self-determination and community projects and who identified a need for culturally relevant aged care accommodation.
Mr Coulton said the latest investment for the Parkes electorate will help support the vital work of hostel operator Gilgandra Lifestyles.
“This funding will not only provide improved accommodation options for staff but it will also reinforce the important outcomes for Gilgandra elders, ensuring their needs continue to be prioritised,” Mr Coulton said.
Minister Colbeck said the funding underlines the Morrison Government’s commitment to ensure quality of care in remote regions exceeded expectation.
“Whether it is upgrading living spaces, providing quality furniture or installing equipment to fulfil clinical care or security requirements, these grants are an important investment for services in remote and very remote locations across the country,” Minister Colbeck said.
“It is significantly more difficult for these services to upgrade equipment and buildings and maintain accommodation for staff.”
Twenty projects, mostly in remote areas of the Northern Territory, Western Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania, will receive grants.
This funding is in addition to the annual investment of around $68 million for service delivery under the NATSIFAC Program and $105.7 million over 4 years from 2018-2019 to 2021-2022 for its expansion.
The NATSIFAC Program funds service providers to deliver flexible, culturally safe aged care to older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people close to home and community.