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Wednesday, 26 May 2010
Page: 4266

Mr SIMPKINS (9:30 AM) —I have often spoken of the great place that is the suburb of Ballajura within Cowan. Ballajura has many fine schools and it also has an excellent war memorial. Its sporting clubs are also second to none. The one gap that I particularly see in the needs of Ballajura is in the area of aged care.

Local Ballajura resident and City of Swan councillor Mel Congerton and I have been speaking about the need for aged care for some time, and last year we met on a site at Paradise Quays in Ballajura to speak about the detailed prospects of the site for low-care, high-care and independent living units to be built by Global Care. As a local resident in Cowan, I was very happy to lend my support to the project and I know that the older residents of Ballajura also support the opportunity of an aged-care facility proposed by Global Care. Mel Congerton has been working hard for years to achieve better aged care in Ballajura and I am very happy that I have been able to support him from the early days of this project.

The land for this project is situated on both the south and north portions of Paradise Quays, over 9.84 hectares. It had been reported wrongly last year that the City of Swan had bought the land from the state government. The land is vested in the City of Swan for recreation purposes and has buffer zone constraints due to a nearby utility, which precludes building across the whole site. Global Care has been able to work around the exclusion buffer zone and can deliver a world-class ageing-in-place facility.

The project proposal itself involves the construction of a 60-bed low-, medium- and high-care residential aged-care facility, with a 60 independent living unit development across the subject land. It will also include a purpose-built senior citizens centre and lawn bowls complex. It is estimated to cost $31.5 million and when all criteria have been met it could be built in 36 months. Ballajura’s future needs for aged care could finally become a reality and this will certainly have a long-lasting impact for seniors in Ballajura. The shadow minister for ageing, Senator Fierravanti-Wells, has told me that she is looking forward to being briefed on the project during her forthcoming visit to WA.

As a local resident of Cowan and the local member of parliament I have been involved in Ballajura for years, and the needs of the suburb of 22,000 residents are very important to me. Those needs must most definitely include an aged-care facility, and an allocation of beds from the metro eastern region federal beds round is required. I am seeking from the government an out-of-round grant for this project. Clearly there is still work to be done on the project, although the problems with the Paradise Quays location have been resolved. I am pleased to have been involved for a long time in support of the project and I look forward to future developments that will result in the delivery of quality aged care in Ballajura. I would like to particularly thank Mel Congerton and Global Care for their efforts.

With regard to aged care, we know the providers have been calling for a structural reform of aged care. This has been demonstrated by the poor take-up rate of aged-care places in WA. I worry for the future of aged care in WA unless we are able to conduct the needed reform—(Time expired)