by Anna Watson

Ms Anna Watson MP, Member for Shellharbour has today delivered a Notice of Motion in the New South Wales Parliament calling the NSW Minister for Local Government to intervene in the matter of the future of the Blue Haven Aged Care facility in Kiama.

At an extraordinary Council meeting on 12th May, a motion was passed by Kiama Council to sell off the Blue Haven Aged Care Facility in an attempt to alleviate financial pressures.

“This decision was made with zero consultation with the residents of this facility, their families, or members of the local community” said Ms Watson.

“Since this was announced, I’ve been contacted by a number of local Shellharbour residents who have family or friends residing in this facility who were astounded at the sudden decision. They told me they hadn’t even heard that this was being considered.”

After a surge of public outcry, this motion was later rescinded, and replaced with one that calls on a community consultation plan to be developed.

“A community consultation plan should have been developed before the motion to sell Blue Haven even crossed anyone’s minds.” Ms Watson asserted. “The fact that this was just an after-thought shows that Council has not for one second stopped to consider the interest of the residents of the facility or their loved ones.” said Ms Watson.

“Last week I attended a public meeting to voice my opposition to the selling off of Blue Haven. I was joined by dozens of passionate locals who felt they and their loved ones had been blind-sided by Council’s decision, and didn’t understand how this could possibly be the best option.”

“From here on, Councillors must answer to the residents of Blue Haven, and halt all decisions until thorough community consultation has taken place.” said Ms Watson.

“The priority now must be ensuring that the right thing is done by the residents and staff of Blue Haven, as well as the greater community, and Council must commit to a thorough investigation of all available options, aside from selling off this much-needed community facility”.