Seymour’s adult intellectual disability service provider says it has been left out in the cold with the closure of one of two purpose-built facilities in the town.CHALPAT SONTI December 19, 2012 4:44am
The Department of Human Services’ O’Sullivan Rd community residential unit, which was purpose-built about 20 years ago for adults with an intellectual disability, was closed earlier this year. It leaves just one facility in Alfred St.
DHS conducted a service review that was ‘‘in response to internally identified concerns pertaining to the Department of Human Services’ ability to provide accommodation support from the facility’’.
As a result, the ‘‘review concluded a number of factors which would impact on the ongoing viability of the O’Sullivan Rd facility’’ — lack of demand for shared supported accommodation, access to suitably qualified staff, and poor capital infrastructure deeming the facility not fit for purpose.
Goulburn Options president Janice Kemp said locals felt the reasons for closing the O’Sullivan Rd facility ‘‘were not justified’’.
‘‘It was just done a bit underhanded,’’ she said.
‘‘There is certainly still a need in Seymour. The numbers in the special school are quite big and parents just haven’t got any options any more where to send their kids. Since it closed I’m aware of at least one person who has had to be shifted to Albury.’’
Mrs Kemp said locals had no say in the matter.
‘‘I don’t feel we can get the house back at this stage but we need to make people aware there is a need in Seymour. It’s all right to build them in Shepparton or wherever but it’s not in our area. At the very least they should be able to stay in our community.’’
A Department of Human Services spokesman confirmed the O’Sullivan Rd property would be sold and proceeds would ‘‘be put into funds to help purchasing or rebuilding other facilities around the State to support people with a disability’’.
Other funding associated with the support of people at the O’Sullivan Rd facility would be used to enhance supports for people in the Seymour area.
He said ‘‘there was widespread consultation with residents of O’Sullivan Rd, advocates, guardians, staff and their industrial representatives, and local service providers’’ prior to the closure.
There were four residents at O’Sullivan Rd at the time of the relocation.
Two went to existing vacancies in Alfred St, one was already scheduled to move to an aged-care facility and one resident voluntarily moved to Mooroopna.
‘‘Current demand for supported accommodation is low relative to other towns in the region,’’ he said.
‘‘Most people are able to live in their own homes with support. Providing better supports to people and increasing their independence are key priorities for the Department.’’
DHS ‘‘always try to place a person in a Community Residential Unit in the town of their choice, however, sometimes urgency requires a person to go somewhere else until a place comes up for them’’.
Only one resident from O’Sullivan Rd and Alfred St was from the area.
Residents could request a move at any time if they wished and DHS would try to meet that request subject to vacancies occurring.
Coca-Cola Amatil has confirmed it will be pressing on with its $100 million redevelopment of SPC Ardmona.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Mary and Molly Byrne are urging others to support National Bandanna Day today.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
The annual Deniliquin Garage and Town Sale event is being held tomorrow, and more than 16 homes are registered for the bargain day.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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