Minister hammers home Parkville aged care project
Major Projects Minister Theo Theophanous today took a sledgehammer to a Parkville building to help make way for a new 140-bed aged care facility. Mr Theophanous said the new aged care complex would be built on almost one hectare of the former Commonwealth Games athletes’ village, now known as Parkville Gardens, to provide accommodation and aged care. “A key part of the recent Commonwealth Games was for the sporting event to provide lasting social benefits for all Victorians, including seniors,” Mr Theophanous said. “The aged care centre is one of many facilities designed to leave a lasting legacy from the games.” The 8,500 metre site will include a 140-place aged care centre, up to 52 assisted living units and a community hub with health and other support services. The site is on the former village’s north west corner, neighbouring the Reggio Calabria Club. Mr Theophanous was joined by John Ballard, chief executive officer of Mercy Health and Aged Care, the successful tenderer for the major aged care development. The aged care precinct is part of the community services being integrated into the 20 hectare Parkville Gardens development, which also includes a child care centre, community centre, parks, playground and bicycle paths. In addition to the aged care facility, some 100 apartments and townhouses on the Parkville site will become social housing. Mercy Health and Aged Care won a public tender process to secure the right to build the facility and construction will start soon after a short demolition process. Mercy Health and Aged Care’s John Ballard said the residential aged care project was due to be completed in late 2008 and the assisted living units are expected to be completed in 2009. “This project has been designed to integrate with the community, it recognises that residential aged care is in short supply in this part of Melbourne but also works to address the specific needs of the local community,” Mr Ballard said. In addition, Minister Theophanous handed back the new-look soccer facilities to the Reggio Calabria Club. The pitch has now been reinstated and the former club rooms replaced with new changing facilities, toilets, including a disabled toilet, and an umpires and first aid room.