Waranga News

Murchison community still holding its breath for nursing home reprieve


Murchison community still holding its breath for nursing home reprieve image

The fate of Murchison’s nursing home and associated amenities still seems to hang in the balance, as the community mood swings from ‘never trust a politician’ to hope and belief that their Canberra connections can still come through.

The Murchison community had been reeling once again with the news that the D P Jones Nursing Home would be closed by mid-February, despite previous assurances by the Federal Government that it would remain open.

In October 2019 the facility went into voluntary administration, taking with it the Neighbourhood House, Men’s Shed and Medical Centre buildings. The local community knew this would tear the heart and soul from their small town. Consequently they banded together, and with the assistance of local member Damian Drum, received assurances that a new aged care provider would be found and the Nursing Home would remain open.

Community representatives also met with the Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the National Party, Michael McCormack, in November last year and after the meeting the community was once again assured that the Nursing Home would remain open.

Despite these assurances the liquidator, Richard Cauchi of SV Partners, stated in late January that no buyer had been found and the home would close within fourteen days.

The news left the Murchison Community Action Group, which has worked tirelessly to save the facility, concerned they had been given empty promises.

“It now appears the Federal Government has reneged on its promise and they have instructed the liquidator to close the home within 14 days,” said MCAG Chairman Warwick Gregory at the time.

However, since the initial shock announcement Murchison has continued its fight for survival of the complex and has been ‘waiting with bated breath’ to hear some positive news from the government.

The MCAG said, “Despite an enormous amount of political upheaval and dealing with the bushfire situation, Damien Drum is working tirelessly behind the scenes trying to achieve a positive outcome for the Murchison community.”

They still hold out hope for their Nursing Home, as well as the Neighbourhood House, Men’s Shed and Medical Centre.

“We are holding our breath, but believe the government will manage to bring home a solution. We have gone this far and we refuse to give up hope just yet,” Warwick Gregory, said recently.

Steph Ryan: “poor handling”

Euroa MP and The Nationals deputy leader, Steph Ryan, has slammed both state and federal governments for failing to assist the Murchison community following the collapse of Murchison Community Care last year.

Ms Ryan has again written to both levels of government to request their urgent attention to prevent the closure of the Nursing Home and the flow-on effects this will have for the town’s future.

“I am deeply disappointed by how this process has been handled,” Ms Ryan said.

New hope

been raised once again with Honeysuckle Regional Health aged care provider confirming it had renewed a previous offer to take over operation of the nursing home.

Honeysuckle also operates facilities in Violet Town and Bendigo. It was one of at least three aged care providers who had previously submitted expressions of interest to the liquidators. However SV Partners said no viable offers had been made to keep the facility going.

the last of the residents being relocated, the MCAG and the Murchison community still hold out hope it can relive once again.