Kilkivan Community Care Association members Robert Thompson, secretary Lesley Thompson, president Rosie Fitzgerald and Dawn Choate are steadfast in their mission to establish an aged care facility in town.
Kilkivan Community Care Association members Robert Thompson, secretary Lesley Thompson, president Rosie Fitzgerald and Dawn Choate are steadfast in their mission to establish an aged care facility in town.

Community confused as Kilkivan aged care push delayed

KILKIVAN community leaders are more determined than ever to make a proposed aged care centre a reality after hitting a snag of sorts at Gympie Regional Council's ordinary meeting this week.

Kilkivan & District Community Care Association president Rosie Fitzgerald said the newly-formed group was "disappointed" their request to use a block of land for the proposed "aged care, respite and drop-in" facility had "apparently been rejected" at Wednesday morning's meeting.

"It's been sitting there undeveloped for more than two decades, so a group of us decided to take advantage of the block's availability and address the pressing need for place-based care here," Ms Fitzgerald said.

"We think we have developed a concept that's a great fit for our community's needs. Now we're very keen to present that proposal to locals now, get their feedback and make it even better.

"We have a lot of older residents both in town and on farms who dread the thought of leaving everything behind if-and-when they can no longer manage to be fully independent. Most of the ones I know have given so much to their community over decades, so it's only fair that we find a way for them to stay in that community for as long as they want."

Secretary Lesley Thompson added she hoped the matter could be resolved "promptly" to accelerate the lengthy planning process.

A council spokesman clarified the unanimous vote at Wednesday's meeting was to support the project, pending further developments.

"Council is extremely supportive of this community initiative and is assisting in a number of ways," the spokesman said.

"Council recognises the importance of ageing residents in our western areas to remain in their community where they have access to family and social networks.

"This initiative is in its early days and Council staff will continue to work closely with the Kilkivan community.

"Council is aware of the preferred site for residents however, any site selection is premature as land will be determined in due course once community needs and the preferred structure and operating model is identified and confirmed.

"Council will, in conjunction with the community, explore all suitable parcels of land to ensure a sustainable model is developed that meets community need and that will attract the appropriate funding."

Further confusion over the accuracy of a site photo included in the CEO report within the meeting agenda was "purely an example", the spokesman said.

"Divisional Councillor (Hilary Smerdon) made fellow councillors aware of this in the meeting as part of its discussion," the spokesman said.

All residents of the Kilkivan, Goomeri and Woolooga districts are invited to attend a public meeting run by the association and held at Kilkivan Bowls Club on Thursday, February 27 from 4pm.

Gympie Times

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