Aged care land plan divides council

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Shifting soil: Decontamination works are underway at the Collins St former depot site with an aged care home earmarked for the land. Picture: Gary Sissons

COUNCILLORS are divided over plans to build an aged care home in Collins St, Mentone, with some backing a community push to use the land as public open space.

Council has begun an expressions-of-interest process to find an aged care provider to buy the site but some councillors would like it to also look at a second option: building a 70-bed facility at the Mordialloc Community Nursing Home’s Remo St site in Mentone instead (‘Aged care home an open space invader’, The News 29/10/14).

The councillors argue the Collins St land should be used for parkland.

Kingston Council is exiting the aged care sector and will divest itself of management responsibilities for Mordialloc’s Nixon House, Edithvale’s Northcliffe Lodge and Mentone’s Corben House once a larger aged care home is built in Mentone.

Council expects to hand over management of the homes in mid-2015 and it is expected to take two to three years to build an expanded aged care home in Mentone.

Crs Rosemary West, Tamara Barth, David Eden, Paul Peulich and Steve Staikos are pushing for council to also ask aged care providers to submit business cases to run a care home at Remo St, rather than just put the Collins St proposal out to market.

Council has received confidential legal advice on running a dual request for proposal process. Councillors were due to discuss the matter behind closed doors on Monday evening but voted to defer the matter until December’s council meeting to receive further briefings from council officers.

The soil at the 101-103 Collins St site, a former council depot housing chemicals, is currently being decontaminated by specialists Ausdecom at a cost of $1.1 million.

This decontamination work is expected to be completed in about a month’s time.

Existing aged care homes will continue to operate while a centre is built.

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News

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