DIGGING IN: Kevin Hogan and Chris Gulaptis turn the first sod at the Dougherty Villa extension.
DIGGING IN: Kevin Hogan and Chris Gulaptis turn the first sod at the Dougherty Villa extension. Caitlan Charles

Major works begin for $7M development

AFTER years of planning, works have officially begun on the $7m extension of Dougherty Villa aged care facility, with the first sod turned by local MPs Kevin Hogan and Chris Gulaptis.

Both representatives were on hand for the start of the extension, which will have federally funded aged care beds provided on Crown land.

"This is great news for our aged community and also great news for those looking for work," Mr Hogan said.

"The Federal Government is providing ongoing funding of almost $1.2 million for 20 beds, which will create 20 full-time local jobs, from nursing to maintenance and hospitality.

"These new 20 residential places will allow older members of our community to remain living in their community surrounded by friends and family - which is where they want to be."

Clarence Village CEO Duncan McKimm said after years of planning, it was a momentous occasion to see the works begin, starting the organisation on an exciting journey of expansion.

"This is the culmination of almost 10 years of work for Clarence Village, so seeing earthworks begin is certainly a big deal for our organisation," Mr McKimm said.

"Our residents are really excited about the works, which also involve revamping our kitchen, dining and lobby areas. It's great that our residents are so keen for us to expand - it tells us that we're running a happy home for them and that our little community here is strong.

"It's important for the community more broadly to know there are good news stories about aged care happening and this is a very real demonstration of one."

The economic impact of the build extends beyond the additional staff, with the tender for construction works won by local company Dougherty Constructions and involving many local tradespeople and businesses as subcontractors.

Beds are expected to be in place and operational by the end of 2019.



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