News

Land to spare

By Zoe McMaugh

Plans have been revealed for establishment of supported living accommodation as an additional Yallambee - Kurrajong Waratah service in Deniliquin.

It has earmarked land directly behind existing service facilities in Napier St, but has not yet confirmed costs, funding or configuration of the homes.

Land behind Yallambee will also be used to develop more facilities for the service.

Both future projects are proposed for a small portion of a large block already owned by the organisation, which stretches south to the Cobb Highway.

Kurrajong CEO Steve Jaques said the rest of the block is ‘‘surplus to our requirements’’ and would be sold off to a developer or investors.

An application has already been submitted to Edward River Council to subdivide the surplus block into 27 lots — 26 for development and one to be used as a retention area and for emergency access. Two new courts are also proposed to service the new residential area.

‘‘One of the dreams of the previous committee (before Yallambee merged with Kurrajong four years ago) was to own that block of land, and we negotiated that purchase two years ago,’’ Mr Jaques said.

‘‘The land is quite large and Deniliquin has a shortage of subdivided land so we have lodged a development application with the view of subdividing it.

‘‘We will keep what we need, including the block for future support accommodation.

‘‘We resolved we would subdivide the land before we go out to developers and we are in the process of finalising additional information the council wants, and we expect to have that to them in the next few weeks.

‘‘The benefit is that this is great residential land: it’s a win:win situation — a win for us to have this land, and a win for Deniliquin to have 26 blocks for future residential development.’’

Mr Jacques said the inspiration for the support accommodation project was the families of Deniliquin.

He said while discussions about the project are in the very early stages, the Deniliquin development could replicate new support accommodation provided by Kurrajong in Narrandera.

‘‘Across all Kurrajong families, the average of those over 65 who still have their disabled children at home with them is 72,’’ Mr Jacques said.

‘‘As they continue to age, what happens to their son or daughter?

‘‘When the parents are no longer capable the son or daughter would normally go to another family member, but that is not always possible.

‘‘In Narrandera we have just built four two-bedroom units to provide transitional accommodation.

‘‘They can either co-share the unit, or have a spare bedroom for support staff to stay in or family.

‘‘That could be the type of model our families want in Deniliquin, but we have already said there would be no more than three disabled people living in one house.’’

Mr Jacques said configuration of the accommodation would be designed in consultation with local families, and all funding options for the future project are still on the table.

He said this could include being self-funded by Kurrajong, grant funding, bequests or even an equity share arrangement with the families who will live in the homes.

A decision on the subdivision application is not expected to be made until next year.