'Washes hands' of Coraki village

RICHMOND Valley Council has announced new plans to give up control of Coraki's Mid Richmond Residents Village.

In a statement, corporate services director Wayne Halcrow said council staff would spend today meeting staff and residents at the retirement village before holding a public meeting at the town's hospital this evening.

Under the council's new plan the village would be leased to the 'non-government' sector.

“The constantly changing characteristics of operating in the aged care industry are an increasing drain on council's resources,” Mr Halcrow said. “While we believe a very good job has been done to date, it is clearly evident that the expertise of the industry is required to manage all facets of the operation into the future to ensure its continued viability.”

Plans by the council several years ago to sell the village sparked intense community protests from residents, who argued the facility should remain in community hands.

However, Mr Halcrow said the new plan met with residents' wishes, expressed in a community survey that suggested it ought to be run by a not-for-profit community organisation.

Mr Halcrow said the council was 'committed' to retaining all existing beds at the village. The plan to lease the facility would guarantee its long-term viability.

“We are all very proud of the village operations and recognise it as a priority to our residents,” Mr Halcrow said.

“Many people have provided support over the years, through hours of tireless work, not only staff but volunteers.

“Council encourages any input from the community at this public meeting to ensure all interests of the community are taken into account.”

Mr Halcrow said there were 'a number of options' available to ease any concerns from village residents, their families or the broader community.

Council staff would use today's meetings to talk through those option with those people, he said.

This evening's public meeting will be held at the Coraki Conference Centre, within the Campbell Hospital complex, from 5.40pm.


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