Life of luxury for nursing home owner

 

A GOLD Coast nursing home owner whose facility shut down suddenly lives in a luxury waterfront mansion and owns a multimillion-dollar property portfolio.

The Courier-Mail can also reveal the global owner of aged care contractor HelpStreet Villages - which was running the Earle Haven nursing home for owner People Care - had been banned from managing companies by Australia's corporations watchdog because of unpaid debts.

Both firms have blamed each other for the Nerang home's shock closure last week, forcing the emergency evacuation of 70 residents.

The shambolic shutdown has sparked state and federal probes and sanctions banning it from taking in new residents.

Federal Aged Care and Senior Australians Minister Richard Colbeck said yesterday the federal independent inquiry in to Earle Haven would be headed by former ACT chief minister Kate Carnell.

Ms Carnell, who was ACT chief minister for five years until 2000, has served at several organisations since retiring from politics, including stints as CEO of Beyond Blue.

But police have ruled out criminal charges over the Earle Haven closure.

In a statement, Queensland Police Service said a thorough investigation had "determined there was no evidence of any criminal offences being committed".

"No further action will be undertaken by police unless additional information is received," the statement read.

Earle Haven boss Arthur Miller this week. Picture: John Gass/AAP
Earle Haven boss Arthur Miller this week. Picture: John Gass/AAP


Earle Haven owner Arthur Miller, 77, is a multimillionaire who lives in a $2 million mansion at Clear Island Waters.

His company, Miller Enterprises, recently emerged as the buyer of a $14 million commercial property at Varsity Lakes.

Records show People Care, which bought Earle Haven for more than $2 million in 2001, also owns property at Cornubia, south of Brisbane.

Earle Haven closed abruptly on Thursday last week after a contractual dispute between People Care and HelpStreet Villages, a contractor he brought in last April to run the nursing home.

HelpStreet's UK-based owner Kris Bunker was last year disqualified for three years from managing corporations by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

An ASIC spokeswoman said the action related to Mr Bunker's involvement in the management of two or more failed companies in the past seven years which were unable to pay their debts.

The 39-year-old Brit had been a director and/or secretary of a string of HelpStreet companies and a payroll firm.

News Corp Australia is not suggesting Mr Bunker has breached the ASIC order.

Arthur Miller’s luxury waterfront home. Picture: John Gass/AAP
Arthur Miller’s luxury waterfront home. Picture: John Gass/AAP


Mr Bunker has accused People Care of failing to properly pay HelpStreet.

He said HelpStreet had been brought in after Federal Government sanctions against People Care and that his firm arrived to find "urine-soaked mattresses, bedding and towels with holes in them and food … described as slop".

HelpStreet exited the nursing home last Thursday, a day after being handed a termination notice by People Care.

A crisis meeting of Earle Haven residents this week was told HelpStreet's services had been terminated because People Care had "come to the decision that the health and wellbeing of our residents at those homes may have been at risk and he'd lost confidence and trust in HelpStreet".

People Care said it was not responsible for the "mess" at Earle Haven. But Mr Bunker pointed the blame squarely at People Care, welcoming a federal investigation.

"We have nothing to hide," he said.

"Residents should not have been put in a situation where they were forced to be relocated because they were left without the care they so rightfully deserved."

The inquiry report is set to be handed down in October.

The street frontage of Arthur Miller’s waterfront mansion. Picture: John Gass/AAP
The street frontage of Arthur Miller’s waterfront mansion. Picture: John Gass/AAP