Numurkah aged care campaign picks up pace

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Campaign: (From left) Acting director of clinical service Abhi Dolar, NCN Health board chair Tricia Quibell, Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell, Liberal candidate for Shepparton Cheryl Hammer and NPML Auxiliary president Rosemary Kennett after an inspection of Numurkah Pioneers Memorial Lodge.

The recent campaign to rebuild the Numurkah Pioneers Memorial Lodge aged care facility is gaining momentum, with more than 100 letters written in support, and local members of parliament adding their voices to the call.

Nathalia Cobram Numurkah Health is leading the community campaign and says more than 130 letters of support have been sent by members of the public to the ministers for health and ageing.

The matter has also been raised in Victorian Parliament by Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed and Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell.

Ms Lovell told the Legislative Council the community had been waiting too long for the rebuild.

“When opening the nearby Carinya nursing lodge in 2005, then-Health Minister Gavin Jennings said Pioneers Lodge was next on the government’s funding radar. Seventeen years later, the Numurkah community is still waiting,” she said.

NCN Health said the community had already raised a significant portion of the estimated $20 million required to rebuild Pioneers Memorial Lodge and Ms Sheed told the Legislative Assembly the Andrews Government must make its contribution.

“Without funding from the Victorian Government a new Pioneers Lodge cannot be built, leaving our much-loved older residents living in outdated, unsuitable buildings that do not match their care needs,” she said.

“A modern, fit-for-purpose building for Numurkah would not only provide some level of luxury, it is a basic right for them.”

NCN Health wants the Labor Government to back plans to rebuild the 46-year-old building that was assessed as “end of life” by the Department of Health and Human Services in 2009.

It says the residential aged care home with 36 beds, including two respite and two transitional care beds for older people who need support before going home after being hospitalised, is no longer “fit for purpose”.

NCN Health board chair Tricia Quibell said a new facility would improve accessibility for residents, including larger bedrooms and bathrooms with capacity for wheelchairs, walkers and the use of appropriate lifting equipment.

Ms Quibell said she was thrilled by the level of community support for the campaign and urged members of the public to maintain their efforts.

“The Pioneer Lodge Matters campaign team have set up a campaign website, which quickly and easily allows people to send emails online to the Victorian Minister for Health and the Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers and Numurkah's local elected representatives and Victorian election candidates,” she said.

For more information you can contact the Pioneer Lodge Matters campaign team via or go directly to the campaign website: