The City of Kalamunda is keen to keep working with the new State Government in the identification of viable sites for aged care, including the Wilkins Road site in Kalamunda.
Following meetings with the Minister for Planning, Kalamunda MLA and Minister for Health in June, Mayor Andrew Waddell said he was interested to learn of any new sites the State would be considering in the region for aged care and would continue to champion for sites that have already been earmarked as viable.
“While we welcome the Government’s indication that it will now be investigating a number of other sites, we would also be concerned if the Wilkins Road site was discarded from the mix, and encourage them to do some more due diligence before coming to a firm position on it.
“I have written to the Minister this week suggesting it is important to first test the market to gauge the level of interest among suppliers of any new alternative sites. “In our many discussions with a number of aged care providers in recent years, most have indicated they would only invest in smaller sites if they were well located next to activity centres and services.
“Those who are prepared to operate outside of these areas require larger sites of up to 5 to 10 hectares in order to provide fully integrated aged care models. “We do not believe any site already thoroughly investigated and deemed viable in collaboration with suitable providers should be discounted at this stage.”
The Mayor’s comments come after Minister Saffioti recently stated that she does not think the site is suitable and other sites on government-owned land would deliver better opportunities faster.
The Council has been advocating for aged accommodation in the hills as one of its highest priorities for several years and recognises the need for multiple new aged care facilities to cater for our ageing population.
The State Government announced approval to rezone the site to Urban, through an amendment to the Metropolitan Region Scheme in January 2017, following extensive consultation with community and various government agencies. Future development of the site would be subject to Commonwealth environmental assessment and approval.