Plans are on track for Sandhurst

Disability Services and Reform Minister Mary Wooldridge says plans are on track for the closure of Bendigo's Sandhurst Centre.

This is an important step in getting the relocation of Sandhurst residents right. - Mary Wooldridge

The disability provider will close within three years and residents will have to find new accommodation. 

Client future plans progressing

Melbourne City Mission has been working with residents and their families as part of a client planning process.

Work on the design of the new accommodation, as well as various staffing options, is expected to ramp up after client planning is finalised.

Ms Wooldridge said almost 90 per cent of client future accommodation plans were complete or nearing completion.

“This is an important step in getting the relocation of Sandhurst residents right,” Ms Wooldridge said.

“We have invested the time needed to listen to residents and ensure the new accommodation is appropriate to their needs.

“We’ve also commenced work on the service model design informed by those completed plans.

"The look and feel of the future accommodation is starting to take shape and we will continue to engage key stakeholders such as advocacy organisations that are providing support to the residents of Sandhurst.

“My colleague, the Parliamentary Secretary for Families and Community Services Andrea Coote has also attended bi-monthly consultations with families and residents in July, September and November, which she reports have been very constructive, with residents and their families sharing their ideas and concerns.”

The Office of the Public Advocate and the Disability Services Commissioner has been directly engaged in the planning process.

The impending closure of the facility was a hot topic of discussion during a Community Visitors meeting on Monday.

Office of the Public Advocate volunteer programs manager Rosemary Barker was in Bendigo to meet with about 20 Community Visitors and discuss issues for people with a disability living in the Loddon Mallee region.

Meanwhile, HACSU state secretary Lloyd Williams said there needed to be more clarity throughout the process.

"They haven't been talking with the staff or the families in terms of giving any certainty," he said.

"They've been beavering away behind the scenes doing these so-called assessments.

"But unfortunately they haven't been involving too many people in those assessments."

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