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Feds fund Yamba aged care places

Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan has announced that the Whiddon Group will receive more than $3million per year in ongoing funding for 50 new residential aged care places in Yamba. “The additional beds will mean up to 60 new permanent jobs when the new facility opens and also new [temporary] local construction jobs during the building phase,” Mr Hogan said. “The new jobs will include carers, cooks, administration and ground staff.” Whiddon’s chief executive officer Chris Mamarelis said in a media release that “the new places and opportunity to improve access to aged care … will enable us to continue to support and care for older people”. He said it was the “responsibility” of care service providers “to ensure we are meeting the needs of local people, and this includes ensuring that there are sufficient care options in the towns and regions they call home”. A spokesperson for the Whiddon Group said that the location of the proposed residential aged care facility was not yet known. She said that before land could be purchased for the facility, it was necessary for the Whiddon Group to gain the ongoing funding commitment through the competitive process to which all aged care providers must apply. “We will announce where it will be built when we know,” she said. “We have to apply for places before planning its construction.” The funding is not used for construction or the purchase of land. “Whiddon looks forward to extending our services and supporting older people and their families in the Yamba community,” Mr Mamarelis said. He said the group would soon open a new home in Grafton.