Minister Promises 78 Group Homes - Delivers None

The Berejiklian Government has failed to deliver 78 promised group homes to re-house residents of the Stockton, Tomaree and Kanangra centres in the Hunter.

Families and residents, who have already been living with the stress and uncertainty surrounding the closure of the services, now fear for the future.

In 2015, the Government called for a private provider to build new group homes on 78 sites, mainly across the Hunter, to cater for residents currently in the three large residential centres. The group homes were supposed to be built before April 2018, however construction is yet to begin.

Sources have revealed the original contractual terms were impossible to fulfil because the Government refused to provide funds for the capital project, rely

ing instead on vague ongoing funding proposals which made the project unviable.

None of the privately contracted homes have been delivered, meaning only a few of the residents have been relocated from the centres which were due to close this year. Meanwhile, services within the centres such as on-site kitchen facilities, laundry and a shop, have been disbanded already.

Quotes attributable to Acting Shadow Minister for Disability Services and Shadow Minister for the Hunter Kate Washington

“Premier Berejiklian is obsessed with spending billions of dollars rebuilding stadiums in Sydney, whilst failing to support our most vulnerable people.

“In 2015, the Government promised these new homes would be built by now, yet construction hasn’t even begun. Meanwhile, the residents at Stockton, Tomaree and Kanangra are left living in centres where services have been whittled away.

“This shifty Minister is hiding the truth from residents and families who already fear for the future. His incompetence is cruel and harmful.

“The Minister should focus on doing his job and sort out this mess. If he can’t, he should be sacked.

“This Government is committed to one thing only – abandoning people with disability. It goes to show that their priorities are all wrong.”

This item was distributed as a media release on Monday 28 May 2018.


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