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'Battler' decision soon

Wednesday, 23rd February, 2011

By Gina Wilson

The city should know within two weeks which "battler" will receive free entry to the soon-to-be-transformed War Veterans' Retirement Village.

Ten locals were nominated after Southern Cross Care (Broken Hill) Ltd, which owns the War Vets, asked the public to nominate a person they thought deserved a $10,000 hand into the village.

An eight-member selection panel is now in the process of rating the nominations from one to 10, with the person receiving the lowest score winning the most deserved 'battler' and able to move in for free.

SCCBH chairman Robert Johnson said yesterday he thought the number of nominations was about what they were expecting, given nominees had to agree to being nominated.

"We're very happy. We thought there might be a few more around but 10, and the quality of the applications, is very satisfying," Mr Johnson said.

"Eleven were put in but two separate persons applied for the one person.

"If we could do it anonymously we probably would've had more but people didn't want to be helped."

The War Vets, which now houses less-independent elderly residents, is transforming the 26 unit site to "lifestyle" living which includes the provision of all gardening and maintenance.

Submissions closed on February 11 and Mr Johnson said two panel members had already returned their preferences.

"We have two back now already and Tuesday next week is the deadline."

Meanwhile Mr Johnson said he was notified of City Council's decision to approve a development application to go ahead with work on transforming the Thomas Street village site yesterday.

"It's great. We've got the approval now and that means we can take the next step," he said.

The DA allowed SCC BH to demolish a building, which was used as a kitchen, recreation and dining room and create a car park.

He said once they got one final approval, and the residents were moved to the Harold Williams Home, they would send in the wrecking ball.

"We've just got to get the demolition approval," he said.

"We've got a very short time schedule ... (just) three weeks to be demolished.

"We've got people chaffing at the bit to go in."

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