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Help needed to go green



Victoria’s peak aged care body is calling on the State Government to take the lead in a joint- project to help the state’s ‘grey’ facilities go ‘green’.

In its budget submission, Aged and Community Care Victoria (ACCV) asked the Government to provide $5000 per resident to help retrofit and develop environmental sustainability in Victoria’s 870 residential aged care facilities.

The association is also urging the Federal Government to match the $222 million it was seeking from the State Government for the project.

“The Federal Election showed the grey vote was swayed by green issues,” Mr Mansour said.

“As older people begin to think about where they may live out their days, more and more are asking questions about the use of new energy and recycled water.’’

Mr Mansour said it was crucial that both governments stepped in to support this initiative as the cash-strapped, aged care industry was in no position to fund the necessary changes on its own.

“The problems with capital funding have not gone away,” he said, adding that the axing of the interim $3.50 daily accommodation payment a month ago had brought the industry closer to a construction crisis.

“While the industry viewed $3.50 as totally inadequate, it has been removed without any solution to encourage more long-term capital investment in the industry,’’ Mr Mansour said.

Mr Mansour called for a fresh approach to capital funding in residential aged care.

“We have got stuck on the issue of bonds in high care but we need to put that to one side and look at flexible, alternative options for individual providers and individual customers – things like refundable deposits and superannuation reform,” Mr Mansour said.

“There are significant opportunities to be had if we do that and the only way we will solve this problem is by thinking outside the square.”

ACCV did however congratulate the Victorian Government for funding a pilot sustainability program at the 72-bed Koo Wee Rup Regional Health Service aged care facility.

The organisation was given $100,000 to install a solar hot water system and has begun installing tanks to supply water for the facility’s toilets and gardens.

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