News on Hazelwood House - From CDCA

Hazelwood House (Banner)

Latrobe City Council has utilised its option to purchase the former Hazelwood House aged care facility in Churchill.

Under the original purchase agreement, Council had "First Right of Refusal to Purchase" which meant the facility would be offered to Council to buy before any other party. It is CDCA's understanding that the purchase price was $1, this being the original price paid for the land purchased from the then Morwell Shire.

Many Churchill residents would know of the significant fund-raising conducted by this community to build Hazelwood House and the sense of ownership many of us felt. Council has stated that it is committed to trying to ensure that the facility remains as something that provides care or benefit to this community.

However, to widen the options available for the facility's use, Council has removed the Caveat which ensured that Hazelwood House could only be used as an aged care facility. Council does not operate aged care facilities itself and on-going attempts to find another approved provider to operate Hazelwood House have failed, perhaps because the building has aged and needs upgrading to meet high needs aged care. It is also too small to deliver aged care at scale which seems to be the current trend amongst providers. The removal of this Caveat means that Hazelwood House could be used for a range of much needed services, such as palliative or respite care, short-term accommodation for mothers and babies, emergency or transitional housing, etc. Council has decided to call for Expressions of Interest from agencies wishing to operate community care services from the site.

The former facility owner, Benetas, has donated much of the specialised bedroom furnishings (e.g. beds, drawers and chairs) to charity. A lot of the general furnishings are still in place which would certainly help with the establishment costs for a new agency to set up within Hazelwood House.

Let us all hope that a suitable service can be found soon and the facility does not lie idle for much longer!

Other News from CDCA

CDCA held a successful Zoom meeting in late August and has decided to hold our Annual General Meeting on-line via Zoom this year. It was agreed that the seemingly ever-changing restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic were too difficult to predict and that the best option was a Zoom meeting as this would not be affected by restrictions.

Our Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday October 28 at 7pm. All members and local residents are welcome to join us at our on-line Zoom meeting but you MUST register to attend in order to be provided with the meeting ID number or the on-line link.

Please note that you will need to have the Zoom app downloaded to your computer, tablet or phone in order to join our meeting.

If you would like to attend our AGM, please RSVP to mgcdca@hotmail.com or text/phone 0407 876 443 by Friday October 23. This will enable you to bepprovided with the information you will need to join our Zoom meeting.

You can find more information about CDCA on our website: www.cdca.org.au.

We're also on Facebook - search for Churchill District Community Association - leave a message if you wish to contact CDCA or you can write to us at PO Box 191, Churchill.

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Churchill and District News is a community newspaper staffed by volunteers.

 

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