$28m aged care project planned for Ballina
The project, being planned by RSL LifeCare, will see a new 150-bed facility built at Cawarra Park in Cherry Street, Ballina.
Once completed the current Ex-Services Home in Bentinck Street will be demolished and replaced by apartments for aged people who require a lower level of care.
RSL LifeCare’s North Coast General Manager, Paul Morris, said planning was still under way.
However, a development application for the new facility was expected to be lodged with Ballina Shire Council by the end of the year, he said.
“Our population is growing and ageing and we have quite a big waiting list,” Mr Morris said.
“This will allow us to cater for more people and transition the current residents into the new building without it being disruptive.”
The Ballina Ex-Services Home was opened about 60 years ago as a place of rest and convalescence following World War II.
The new facility will increase the number of beds for ex-service persons from 118 to 150, and will provide more modern facilities for the elderly residents.
“When the home was first built it was designed to look after young men who had returned from the Second World War,” Mr Morris said.
“It is now housing 80-year-old people in the same rooms and the building is no longer capable of meeting the residents’ needs and expectations.
“The new home will allow us to house more residents, and to do so in an upgraded facility, which is really exciting for them.”
Bryan Marriott, secretary/manager of the Ballina Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the development would provide a timely injection of employment and money into the local economy.
“Certainly in this economic downturn it will be a bonus for the construction industry,” Mr Marriott said.
“And when constructed it will provide an opportunity for additional staffing and injection of capital in the shire.
“With that, and the Ballina bypass project which is providing local employment, we are in a fortunate position having these projects under way.”