Coalition Government Supports Certainty for Sandhurst Staff

The Victorian Coalition Government is taking steps to provide greater certainty about future employment for staff of Bendigo’s Sandhurst Residential Services.

Minister for Disability Services and Reform Mary Wooldridge said the Napthine Government is proposing to speed up the tender process by up to five months to appoint community-based providers to manage the new homes for Sandhurst’s residents.

“I have spoken to residents and staff at Sandhurst, and I understand that it is important to provide this assurance as soon as possible, even though the institution will not be closed until mid-2016,” Ms Wooldridge said.

“This is a positive next step to give staff a clear idea of who will run the new facilities, and allow them to make long-term plans for themselves and their families.”

The decision follows the completion of comprehensive client plans for all of Sandhurst’s residents as well as consultations on the design and lay-out of the new homes.

“Throughout the redevelopment process we’ve taken time to understand the needs and preferences of Sandhurst’s residents to ensure they receive the supports they need in their new homes,” Ms Wooldridge said.

Ms Wooldridge said consultation about the employment arrangements of staff in the new homes has been taking place over the past few months, with a proposal to speed up the procurement process put forward in the last week. This will help identify and secure job opportunities for employees sooner.

The Department of Human Services has also been providing information to residents, families and staff through a series of forums and individual meetings, including career counselling.

The Napthine Government announced plans in May 2013 to redevelop the Sandhurst Centre’s outdated institutional model, and the plans have been widely supported across the disability services sector.

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Topics:
Housing, Accommodation, Tenancy

Author:
The Hon Mary Wooldridge MP

Source:
Government Media Release

Date published:
Wed 20th Aug, 2014