Older residents in the Wagin electorate will soon have increased opportunities to remain close to home as they age, thanks to a $46.19 million investment by the State Government.
Member for Wagin Terry Waldron MLA was in Wickepin and Katanning today for the official announcement of two local housing projects, made possible by the Royalties for Regions (RfR) Growing Our South initiative.
In Wickepin, Minister for Regional Development Terry Redman announced the Wheatbelt South Aged Housing Alliance, which will see 38 Independent Living Units (ILUs) built across the Corrigin, Cuballing, Kondinin, Kulin, Narrogin, Wandering and Wickepin local government areas.
Mr Waldron said: “The local Wheatbelt South Aged Housing Alliance project has been funded as part of a major construction of 150 specially-designed, age-appropriate houses across 28 local governments in the Wheatbelt and Great Southern regions.”
“I’m delighted that Royalties for Regions has provided more than $10 million towards this excellent ‘Wheatbelt South’ initiative.”
He said that the breakdown included a total of 124 independent living units to be built across the four Wagin electorate communities of Cuballing, Narrogin, Wickepin and Kulin, four Moore electorate towns and 13 Central Wheatbelt local government areas.
In the Great Southern, the other 26 (ILU) units will be built in Broomehill-Tambellup, Cranbrook, Gnowangerup, Katanning and Kent.
In Katanning, Minister Redman announced another housing project which will see further regional employee accommodation, 22 houses, built in the localities of Broomehill-Tambellup, Cranbrook, Gnowangerup, Jerramungup, Katanning and Kojonup.
Mr Waldron said the Wheatbelt Development Commission had been working with five local government alliances across the Wheatbelt region towards the development of cluster housing.
Two of the alliances fall within the Wagin electorate including the aforementioned ‘Wheatbelt South’ project and the Brookton, Beverley and Pingelly Alliance, which was granted $7.89 million in RfR funding for 27 ILUs across the Shires of Brookton, Beverley and Pingelly.
The other three projects are being progressed by alliances of local governments in the Avon, Central Midlands and Cunderdin, Tammin and Quairading regions.
Mr Waldron said the accommodation to be built across the Wagin electorate would enable the growing number of older people in the electorate to remain living locally.
“Staying connected with the community is a concern for seniors, especially in regional areas,” he said.
“The State Government is strongly committed to assisting elderly people to remain in their home communities as they age, as this is where their support networks are.”
Nationals WA candidate for Roe Peter Rundle praised the local housing projects.
“Aged housing forms part of an integrated solution to create more vibrant communities that celebrate and respect older people, and the contribution they make, while providing positive futures for our small regional towns,” Mr Rundle said.
“It’s important to consider that regional WA has an older population profile than the State as a whole and therefore an increasing need for aged care facilities.”
The State Government’s housing program is aligned with the Federal Government’s aged care reform, delivering on the findings of the Ageing in the Bush Report.
The Growing our South initiative is a five-year, $600 million Royalties for Regions program to implement major infrastructure and community projects in the Peel, Wheatbelt, South West and Great Southern regions.