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The Independent Voice of
Central West Queensland since 1923
Central West Queensland

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23 July, 2021

Comfort found in new facilities

Three new independent living homes unveiled in Barcaldine this month.

By Michael R Williams

Maranoa MP, David Littleproud; Barcaldine Aged Care Chairperson Gary Bettiens, and Barcaldine Regional Council Mayor Sean Dillon cutting the ribbon to the new community hall. PHOTO: Aaron Skinn, Skinn Deep Photography.

THREE new units, a community hall, a kitchen, and an office have been added to the independent-living homes for the elderly on Beech Street, Barcaldine.   

Preferring not to call it an aged care facility, the project aims to allow those who reside at the homes their own sense of freedom.  

This significant upgrade to the project has been four years in the making since the initial three houses were unveiled to the public.   

This Month, the new buildings were unveiled with Maranoa MP David Littleproud, Barcaldine Regional Council Mayor Sean Dillon, and Barcaldine Aged Care Chairperson, Gary Bettiens cutting the ribbon.   

Resident Shirley Storey said the units were specifically built for the elderly so that they could live peacefully in their own home, while also receiving support from HACS (Home Assist Community Service).   

“The doors are larger, the toilets and showers are all designed for people who are older,” she said.   

“A lot of us are still independent and drive, but if we were injured, we could have someone to do our shopping and other things.”  

The residents said they were excited about the new community hall and have already started to utilise it.   

Ms Storey said they have their morning teas in the building.  

“More people from outside could come to visit us, perhaps school students and community groups could come to put on a show are join us with craft mornings,” she said.   

Barcaldine Aged Care, the not-for-profit organisation behind the project, managed to raise over $1 million by fundraising in the Barcaldine community.  

They then received a further $1.8 million from the Building Better Regions initiative from the Federal Government, and a loan from the State Government’s Economic Queensland program.  

Barcaldine Aged Care Chairperson, Gary Bettiens said they will continue to fundraise to do more.   

Barcaldine Aged Care acquired a block of land, donated by the Barcaldine Regional Council at the end of Beech Street, which is sizeable enough to fit several more units and different facilities.   

“We can’t ask for more donations, but people just keep giving; we couldn’t ask for a better community,” he said.  

The project has been an ongoing fight for 12 years.   

Mr Bettiens said he could not be more grateful for the help from everyone from the Federal Government to the Council to all those who have donated.   


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