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New aged care home for Narre Warren South.

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Joint Media Release

Ms Julie Bishop MP Minister for Ageing

Mr Bob Charles MP Member for La Trobe

26 March 2004 JB042/04

New aged care home for Narre Warren South

Residents of southern Melbourne and surrounding areas will benefit from a low-care hostel opened today in Narre Warren South by the Minister for Ageing, Julie Bishop and the Member for La Trobe, Bob Charles.

The Willows, operated by White Cross Community Care Group, was opened by Ms Bishop and Mr Charles during a visit to the facility with Jason Wood, the Liberal Candidate for the electorate of La Trobe at the next election.

Ms Bishop said White Cross was allocated 45 low-care places for The Willows in the 2003 Aged Care Approvals Round, announced in February, and had taken only 45 days to make them operational and available for local residents.

"This is an excellent example of how the partnership between the Australian Government, aged care providers and local communities, is delivering quality aged care where and when it is needed for older Australians," Ms Bishop said.

This partnership is part of the Australian Government’s vision for aged care, which has delivered;

● a 100 per cent increase in funding, from $3 billion in 1995/96 to $6 billion this financial year;

● more than 55,600 new aged care places across Australia;

● substantial increases in funding and support for aged care services delivered in the home to meet the desire of

people to remain at home as they age; ● an independent, legislated accreditation system designed to deliver continuing improvements in the quality of

care and accommodation provided for older Australians.

Mr Charles said the opening of The Willows was an important part of the Australian Government’s vision and demonstrated the Government’s commitment to caring for the needs of local area older residents.

"I am very pleased to be able to be here and see the state-of-the-art facilities to be offered to residents of this new home," Mr Charles said.

"I am also glad to see that pets are welcome at The Willows and that residents are able to bring their own pets with them when they come to live here. In addition to providing companionship, the pets can also help to keep people active and involved in our community."

Media contacts:

Rachael Thompson (Ms Bishop) 0417 265 289 Sarah Longmore (Mr Charles) 0407 055 958