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Monday, 2 May 2016
Page: 4085


Mrs WICKS (Robertson) (10:47): In recent weeks, I have been able to visit many wonderful aged-care centres and retirement villages across my electorate on the Central Coast. Every facility demonstrated a fantastic commitment to quality aged care, offering elderly members of our aged-care community the respect and support they deserve. BlueWave Living at Woy Woy is one such example of this. Last year I had the honour of officially opening the renovations and extensions there, including a new wing of single ensuite rooms. To return to the facility recently and see the residents enjoying these new spaces was fantastic, and today I am thrilled to be able to announce up to $15,000 in funding to BlueWave under this government's Stronger Communities Program.

The grant will mean that BlueWave Living can purchase a generator for disaster management—absolutely essential, particularly given the experiences of so many aged-care places across the Central Coast during the April storms last year. The generator will be activated when power to the facility is lost, delivering emergency power to essential lighting, electric lift beds, oxygen concentrators, nurse call systems and emergency warning systems. This means residents and staff will have confidence knowing that the centre will be able to continue operating in the events of blackouts or during emergencies. During my recent visit I was impressed not only with the quality of the facility but with the sense of community among the residents. I really want to thank Jennifer Eddy, the CEO of BlueWave Living and all of her staff for all of their work for our senior residents on the Peninsula.

The positive experience I had at BlueWave Living is certainly not an isolated one. I also went to Aurrum recently to announce a substantial increase in funding for aged-care services, as part of the Turnbull government's Aged Care Approvals Round. More than 150 places have been created locally, including at Aurrum's new Terrigal Drive development at Erina. There is a strong demand for aged care on the Central Coast and these additional places are essential in ensuring our elderly residents receive the quality care they deserve. The boost will help expand existing services and create new places in priority areas of need, including at Aurrum where the $18 million facility will deliver beds and train local staff. Other aged-care services to benefit include Bupa Care Services at Kincumber, with more than 100 new residential care places, and upgrades to Home Services Central Coast, based at Mt Penang Parklands in Kariong, and Sue Mann's Nursing and Community Care in Erina.

Every facility and retirement village that I have visited as part of my village visits over the past several weeks has been incredibly uplifting. The stories that I share with local residents and the stories that they share with me give me a great sense of honour at being able to represent their concerns to the Turnbull government down in Canberra. I look forward to meeting with many more of our senior residents on the Central Coast.