‘No sale’ for Mertome aged home

BAYSWATER city council is committed to its Mertome retirement village and has “no intention” of selling it, says mayor Sylvan Albert.

Cr Terry Kenyon put the cat amongst the pigeons at last month’s council meeting when he asked that the “residents of Mertome be given an urgent meeting with council to be informed if they are going to be sold off or be given a commitment from this council to their future tenature of the village”.

The Winifred Road home was established in 1972 and accommodates 213 people in 200 units.

It was the first of its kind to be constructed by a council and pioneered councils’ involvement in aged care. Many are now getting out of it.

In June 2006 the council entered into an agreement with Juniper—formerly Uniting Church Homes—to operate its retirement villages, including Mertome, and its residential aged care facilities.

Perplexed

Cr Albert says he was perplexed by Cr Kenyon’s motion, as he had just met with Mertome residents on March 24 to assure them the council would not sell the village.

He says he also updated them on plans for the site and agreed to to hold more regular meetings.

“I don’t know where this is all coming from, I told the residents at Mertome that we have no plans to sell the site,” he says.

The council is considering a $170 million, 20-year redevelopment of the aged care complex.

It is proposing 316 apartments in two- to seven-storey buildings. Some $22 million is required to fund the first stage.

The council has $9m from the aged persons home and is looking to fund the $13m shortfall.

Mertome’s tired facilities and pressing demand have prompted the redevelopment.

The next meeting between Mertome and the council is scheduled for June 3.

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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