Dingee community divided over nursing centre plan

A COMMUNITY group is accusing the board of the Dingee Bush Nursing Centre and Rochester Elmore District Health Services (REDHS) of impacting on the vote for the centre’s transition advisory committee.

The centre’s planned amalgamation with REDHS has divided the community, with some accusing the centre’s board of impeding a fair vote after profiles of the candidates were not initially provided with the voting slips.

Four community members will take their place on the transitory advisory committee, which will oversee REDHS’ takeover of the running of the health services centre. The members will join two former Dingee Bush Nursing Centre board members, REDHS chief executive officer Matt Sharp, REDHS clinical services director and a Loddon Shire councillor on the committee.

Community group spokeswoman Robyn Brown said the seven candidates were not given the opportunity to put a profile to the community in ample time before Thursday’s cut-off vote. Profiles were supplied to residents late last week after significant community backlash.

Board member John Twigg said the candidates initially elected not to have profiles.

“Some people are saying they want profiles because they don’t know all the people, but when we spoke to the candidates originally they said they didn’t want to be canvassing votes; they wanted to stand on their community record.”

Ms Brown refuted the claim. “Nobody made a phone call to five of the candidates until Thursday afternoon. 

“They were not given an option to put a profile forward.” REHDS’ Mr Sharp said he doubted the delay in delivering the profiles would impact on the vote.

“They’ve (people who have previously voted) probably voted on the knowledge of the people who have put their names forward. 

“I think that this will more help the people who are uncertain.”

The vote will be closed to the public on Thursday, with the first meeting of the group planned for mid-January. 

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