- New policy cuts red tape and provides consistent planning approach for aged care developments
- Scheme amendment makes way for new aged care development in Kalamunda
- More than 50 aged care developments assisted by State Government since March 2017
- Report shows WA's rate of Commonwealth funded residential aged care is approximately 15 per cent lower than the national average
- New parcel of land earmarked for aged care development in the City of Kalamunda
A new planning policy released today seeks to slash red tape and fast track aged care accommodation across Western Australia, delivering on a McGowan Government election commitment.
With the number of older Australians set to more than double over the next 40 years, a new planning guide and scheme amendment were key priorities for the Government and are the latest initiatives to fast track aged care accommodation across Western Australia.
The new position statement removes planning barriers, streamlines delivery across all local governments and introduces two new land use types - residential aged care facility and independent living complex.
The policy also calls for aged care accommodation to be integrated within local communities, serviced by adequate transport networks and located close to health and community services to support options for ageing in place and meet the everyday needs of residents.
Since the McGowan Government took office, more than 50 aged care development opportunities have been assisted through land transfers, rezonings, development approvals and State Government land projects.
These various projects are expected to create at least another 1,900 aged care beds across Western Australia in the coming years.
Today's policy release also coincides with gazettal of a Metropolitan Region Scheme amendment for Heidelberg Park in Carmel, within the City of Kalamunda, that will enable the land to be used for aged care purposes.
Driven by Kalamunda MLA Matthew Hughes, this amendment is in direct response to the Government's commitment to make aged care more available for all Western Australians.
The land - located at the corner of Canning and Pomeroy roads alongside paths, parkland and playgrounds - will allow for a new aged care development providing opportunities for local residents to age in place and remain in the Perth Hills later in life.
Finalisation of the MRS amendment delivers a key election commitment to find suitable land in the Hills district for residential aged care.
The wider aged care policy was developed in consultation with the McGowan Government's cross-agency Aged Care Availability Working Group, initiated by Kalamunda MLA Matthew Hughes.
Mr Hughes was appointed an ex-officio member of the group that comprised representatives from the departments of Health; Planning, Lands and Heritage; Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries; and Communities.
The policy is available at https://www.dplh.wa.gov.au/aged-care
Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:
"The McGowan Government wants to ensure ageing Western Australians are appropriately supported.
"Without adequate planning and more aged care accommodation within the community, there will be increased pressure on the WA health system, including emergency department attendances and demand for transitional care beds.
"This policy is essential to ensure we have a consistent, State-wide approach that allows people to age gracefully with appropriate care and support within their local communities."
Comments attributed to Planning Minister Rita Saffioti:
"When we came to Government in March 2017, we committed to slashing red tape and helping fast track approvals to make aged care accommodation more accessible.
"Since then, more than 50 aged care development opportunities have been assisted through land transfers, rezonings, development approvals and State Government land projects, creating up to 1,900 additional aged care beds across Western Australia.
"The increased demand on housing and health care services will shape future community development, and it is essential that our planning system adequately supports the critical need for more aged care accommodation."
Comments attributed to Seniors and Ageing Minister Mick Murray:
"We are taking action now to support older Western Australians to age in place, in their local communities by removing barriers that prevent development of aged care facilities.
"We made an election promise to improve the lives of seniors by ensuring additional residential options were available, and this policy will help deliver on that commitment."
Comments attributed to Kalamunda MLA Matthew Hughes:
"I am pleased that the work of our interagency working group on the availability of residential aged care has resulted in the development and release of today's policy.
"It's important we have clear planning measures in place so we can ensure aged care developments are supported and elderly Western Australians have the appropriate care available to them, wherever they choose to age.
"I know how important quality, accessible aged care is for the people of Kalamunda and the Perth Hills, and I am eagerly awaiting the call for expressions of interest for a new aged care development at Heidelberg Park in the coming months."
Health Minister's office - 6552 6500
Planning Minister's office - 6552 5500
Seniors and Ageing Minister's office - 6552 6400