Aged care privatised

BAYSWATER council is to privatise management of the Mertome retirement village.

The city wants a private aged care operator to take over the operation and redevelopment of Mertome, saying it’s in the best interests of the residents.

Mayor Barry McKenna says the 50-year-old centre’s ageing and needs updating, but the council doesn’t have the staff or resources for the job.

“Operating a retirement village in today’s legislative environment is increasingly complex and local governments are not best positioned to be able to deliver that kind of service.

“We have looked in depth at a range of options and seeking a reputable, well qualified aged care operator represents the best way forward.”

Bayswater council will remain owner of the property.

There wasn’t unanimous agreement on what to do with Mertome, as a consultant had recommended selling it off entirely, which is supported by Cr Catherine Ehrhardt.

The consultant reckons the new operator wouldn’t be keen on pouring money into capital works when it would have to hand back the building at the end of its lease.

Crs John Rifici, Michelle Sutherland and Chris Cornish agreed with selling it off, but they were outvoted.

Instead the new owner will be given a “long term lease” to be agreed on, and will have to guarantee existing residents’ rights will be protected.

Vincent council’s facing a similar conundrum at Leederville Gardens courtesy of a deal signed by the previous administration.

Some seniors are reportedly unhappy with Vincent’s management, others are intent on keeping the council around. But CEO Len Kosova reckons the council isn’t the best body for the job and the private and not-for-proper sector is better placed to run facility.

by DAVID BELL

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