Minister outlines replacement plan

The State Government will build up to six houses in Colac for residents of Colanda to move into when the centre closes by mid-2019.

Housing, Disability and Ageing Minister Martin Foley met with employees and union representatives at Colanda on Wednesday to provide further information on the centre’s closure.

The government announced Colanda’s closure in last year’s budget and said it would build 10 houses in addition to an already committed five houses to accommodate the centre’s 76 residents.

But details of the buildings’ locations were unclear until the minster’s announcement on Wednesday.

In addition to the buildings in Colac, the government will build up to seven houses at Geelong, one at Warrnambool and one at Ballarat and aimed to have the centre completely closed by mid-2019.

Mr Foley said the government had decided the buildings’ locations on feedback from the families and advocates of Colanda’s residents.

“The families have indicated, based on their preference, that up to six will meet the goals of the number of people who have said they want the future for their loved one to be in Colac,” he said.

“We are certainly confident that six in Colac, seven in Geelong, and one in Ballarat, one in Warrnambool will meet those needs.”

Health and Community Services Union state secretary Lloyd Williams said Wednesday’s meeting was positive and he was pleased with the improved communication from the government.

“The meeting came about today because of our concern about what we saw as poor communication and exchanges of information by departmental management,” Mr Williams said.

“I raised that issue with the minister and the minister determined that, that’s not the way to manage the closure,” he said.

For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.

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