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List gets longer

Wednesday, 11th September, 2019

Eureka manager of the Shorty O’Neil centre, Mignonne Symonds, and local councillor Ron Page are trying to get another independent living centre up and running. PICTURE: Emily McInerney Eureka manager of the Shorty O’Neil centre, Mignonne Symonds, and local councillor Ron Page are trying to get another independent living centre up and running. PICTURE: Emily McInerney

By Emily McInerney

The waiting list for locals to get into Eureka’s Shorty O’Neil Village continues to grow.

However, the manager of the centre, Mignonne Symonds and local councillor Ron Page are pushing to help alleviate the problem.

“Mignonne and I have been talking for a few years now and the waiting list continues to get longer,” Clr Page said.

Mrs Symonds said there was a substantial waiting list at the independent living facility.

“We have people come in at 55 years of age and they could still be going for another 20 to 25 years.

“It’s a secure village, with managers on site. Our residents feel safe.

“I’m only a phone call away.”

Mrs Symonds said Broken Hill had an ageing population.

“We get phone calls from Sydney and Adelaide; people want to come home to retire and be near their family.

“They want to get out of the city and it is more affordable.”

She said what is needed now is a block of land to become available to build more housing on.

“The rent wouldn’t be the same as Shorty O’Neill, but it could still be affordable.”

Mrs Symonds said the land would need to be a reasonable size and close to town.

“It’s needs to be a short bus ride or walking distance to facilities.

“At Shorty O’Neil, our residents can walk to the butchers, or Woolworths and Coles.”

Clr Page said they would be contacting the State Member for Barwon, Roy Butler.

“We would like the State Government’s help in locating land that is affordably priced.

“And we will be approaching Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton for funding assistance.

“Broken Hill has a history of doing things, they just get in and get it done.”

Mrs Symonds said she found it hard to turn people away, but they were at capacity.

“A lot of people are living with their children because they have nowhere else.

“Shorty O’Neil was a great place for Eureka to move into, it had wheelchair access, rails, it’s secure.

“The beauty of it is that our residents have a community here.

“We have lots of fun here, there is a social club, we had a silverside night recently.

“You could have that at another village.

“If someone else out there was interested in building something similar; there would be so much potential.

“It’s best to keep people in their homes as long as possible until they need that next level of care.”

Both Clr Page and Mrs Symonds said they were keen to follow up on this issue to ensure something was done.

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