AGED CARE BOOST: Tannum project's government win
TANNUM Sands is a step closer to gaining aged care services following a Federal Government allocation of 84 aged care beds to Flinders Village.
The approval marks another cog in the wheel for the centre proposed to be built by Nobel Life Pacific at 75 Tannum Sands Rd.
The allocation means it will offer aged care services to seniors who have been assessed by the Federal Government and found to have a need to live in an aged care home.
In addition to the 84 beds for 24-hour high care services, Flinders Village will have 100 villas for more independent seniors and retirees.
Ross Humphreys, the managing director of Genbridge, a retirement management service involved in the project, told The Observer last year they hoped to receive final approval by mid 2019.
In the latest Aged Care Approvals Round, the Federal Government allocated a record 13,500 aged care places across Australia, worth $907 million a year, along with a $60 million capital works investment.
Flinders Village was the only project within the Fitzroy region, Gladstone and Rockhampton to receive aged care beds.
About 65 per cent of the places were allocated for the development of new facilities and around 35 per cent were allocated to expand existing residential aged care services.
Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd said the allocation to Tannum Sands was important to help prevent losing more of the region's retirees to other cities with more aged care services.
He said while the precinct still needed to gain approvals to be constructed, it was a key milestone.
"It's good for them to know when they do finish the build they'll have access to those beds straight away," Mr O'Dowd said. "I was happy to endorse this application because if you talk to any of the seniors in Gladstone they say once you reach a certain age there's no options for aged care and they have no choice but to leave the area."
Mr O'Dowd said with the Federal Government's royal commission into the aged sector under way he hoped by the time this project was built, issues such as staffing and wages within the sector would be addressed.
Health Minister Ken Wyatt said the expansion was part of the Government's $5 billion aged care boost.
It was a 36 per cent increase to the 9911 Aged Care Approvals Round places in 2016-17.
Mr Wyatt said regional areas were the winners out of the latest round, with 5000 beds allocated outside the metropolitan areas.