Colanda families wait in the dark

Residents and staff at Colac’s Colanda Residential Services are in the dark over the centre’s future.

THE FUTURE of Colac’s Colanda disability centre remains in the balance as supporters call for the State Government to save the centre.

Colanda Parents and Friends Association president Noel Bates said he was waiting to see whether a change in government would result in a change in policy on the large-scale residential centre, which he said housed about 140 people.

“We’re hoping we may get answers as to what the position is of the new government, because we have been patient for three years but there comes a time when your patience runs up and frustration takes its place,” he said.

The previous government’s policy was to close residential institutions for people with disabilities and replace them with community residential units.

Community Services and Mental Health Minister Mary Wooldridge met with Colanda supporters last year when she was in opposition.

Mr Bates, whose son Craig has an intellectual disability and has lived at Colanda since 1976, said he was waiting to schedule another meeting with Ms Wooldridge so the residents and their families could stop “waiting and wondering”.

Health and Community Services Union state secretary Lloyd Williams said the union also hoped to speak with Ms Wooldridge.

Ms Wooldridge failed to respond to The Colac Herald’s phone calls before the paper went to print.

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