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Wirksworth in the works

SHELTER Tas and Council on the Ageing (COTA) Tasmania have welcomed progress on the next stage of Wirksworth, a $13 million aged care facility to be located at Bellerive.

The facility will be the first of its kind for Tasmania, providing affordable high-quality care and accommodation for elderly Tasmanians who are financially disadvantaged, homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Shelter Tas and COTA have lobbied for many years to bring this successful model to Tasmania.

“These proposed new homes will be an asset to our community,” COTA chief executive officer Sue Leitch said.

“The facility enables older Tasmanians to live in safe, supported accommodation close to essential services.

“The accommodation will be operated by Wintringham, a not-for-profit organisation with an outstanding reputation.

“The Wintringham model delivers great outcomes for residents and for their neighbourhoods.

“We have learned from our members how much communities have benefitted from similar projects.”

Shelter Tas executive officer Pattie Chugg said older Tasmanians deserved well-designed and well-located homes for their later years.

“Shelter Tas and COTA have long called for a Wintringham development in Tasmania and we are delighted to see this project taking shape in Clarence,” she said.

“It fits in perfectly with the ‘Age Friendly Community’ direction of Clarence City Council.

“This innovative aged care model has a proven track record in Victoria.

“With more and more older Tasmanians living in housing stress and presenting to homelessness services, we desperately need more aged care places for people on low incomes.

“Shelter Tas and COTA would like to see this excellent initiative replicated throughout the state to meet the needs of older citizens in all regions.”

Minister for Housing Roger Jaensch congratulated local business Fairbrother Construction for winning the tender on the Wirksworth development.

He said the development was a key Hodgman majority Liberal Government initiative in Tasmania’s Affordable Housing Action Plan 2019-2023.

“Wirksworth will include residential care beds with independent living units, and the facility will have capacity for up to 50 residents,” he said.

“Construction is expected to create 50 full-time jobs and provide economic activity of $30 million, as well as create approximately 31 full-time jobs over the long term for aged care staff.

“Developments such as this are an important part of the Liberal Government’s Plan.

“Now the Commonwealth Housing debt has been waived, it brings our total investment to a record $258 million over eight years, the largest state investment into affordable housing in Tasmania’s history.”

Caption: From left, Jamie Round from Department of Communities Tasmania, Paul Ransley from Fairborther, Shelter Tasmania executive officer Pattie Chugg, Minister for Housing Roger Jaensch and Clarence Deputy Mayor Heather Chong.