Photo caption: Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton visited Whiddon Narrabri Jessie Hunt last month (prior to lockdown) to hear about plans to upgrade the rooms, thanks to capital grants funding through the Federal Government’s Aged Care Approvals Round. He is pictured with Acting Clinical Care Coordinator Gladys Apostol, Whiddon Narrabri Director Care Services Sara Cameron, resident Marjorie ‘Marj’ Eastick and Whiddon Narrabri Acting Deputy Director Care Services Renuka Saru.
Senior Australians in Bourke, Narrabri and Walgett will benefit from more than $2.6 million in funding from the Australian Government, as part of the single largest investment in residential aged care infrastructure in Australia’s history.
A total of $150 million in capital grants has been allocated following the conclusion of the competitive 2020 Aged Care Approvals Round (ACAR).
This substantial investment includes $2,649,421 in funding for The Whiddon Group residential aged care facilities in Bourke, Narrabri and Walgett.
Whiddon Narrabri Jessie Hunt has received $1,457,508 in capital grants funding, while Whiddon Kookaburra Court in Walgett will benefit from $986,840 and Whiddon River Gum Lodge in Bourke has been awarded $205,073.
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said the injection of funds for Whiddon’s residential aged care facilities in Bourke, Narrabri and Walgett will be used for significant infrastructure improvements across each of the three homes.
“Our elderly people deserve access to quality aged care services, and I’m pleased this funding will ensure aged care residents in Bourke, Narrabri and Walgett will be able to live in greater comfort,” Mr Coulton said.
“This funding represents more than just bricks and mortar; it’s about reinforcing the future of care for senior Australians across the North West of my electorate.
“It offers peace-of-mind and security not only for local residents already in care and their families but also those who are carefully considering the next phase of their life.”
Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services Richard Colbeck said the investment reflects the Coalition Government’s commitment to greater respect, care and dignity for senior Australians no matter where they live.
“Investing in aged care infrastructure means we can improve the quality and safety of residential aged care from the ground up,” Minister Colbeck said.
“Safe, secure and comfortable residential care homes, designed around the needs of residents, provide the foundation for our five-pillar, five-year aged care reform plan.”
Whiddon Chief Executive Officer Chris Mamarelis welcomed the announcement and said the grants will bring a range of benefits to these local communities now, and into the future.
“This is exciting news for Whiddon and our communities alike,” he said.
“The capital grants will allow for exciting upgrades, ensuring that older people in these communities have greater access to quality aged care services so they can stay living in the communities they know and love.
“The infrastructure improvements will allow Whiddon to progress with further enhancements of our care homes. Funding directed towards the provision of care in regional locations is vital in ensuring the ongoing viability of our services and importantly in keeping the community connected with their loved ones.
“Whiddon is very proud to be a care provider in regional, rural and remote New South Wales and Queensland and we thank the Australian Government for their support.”
The conclusion of the 2020 ACAR marks the start of a transition period to a new system as the Federal Government continues to respond to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
The Government will continue to invest in aged care infrastructure for groups most in need, including First Nations people and people living in regional and remote areas.
The 2021-22 Budget included $396.9 million over five years for capital investment to enable aged care providers to make improvements to their buildings and build new services.
More information about the 2020 ACAR outcomes, including details of the successful providers is available here.