Orana Gardens Ltd set to close aged care facility Bellhaven

CLOSING DOWN: Bellhaven aged care facility at Wellington is scheduled to close in early October. Photo: ANTONIA O'FLAHERTY
CLOSING DOWN: Bellhaven aged care facility at Wellington is scheduled to close in early October. Photo: ANTONIA O'FLAHERTY

A Wellington stalwart hopes Bellhaven aged care facility will be sold and redeveloped to the advantage of the town.

President of the board of aged care facility Maranatha House, former Wellington councillor John Trounce, thinks the Bellhaven building could be used for other purposes and again generate jobs.

Maranatha House and aged care facilities in Dubbo have come to the rescue of residents of Bellhaven, set to close “on or around” October 7.

Owner of Bellhaven, Dubbo’s Orana Gardens Ltd, is closing it because of “declining numbers of residents and the ever-increasing costs that are now rendering smaller facilities, such as Bellhaven, unviable”.

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“Fortunately, we have managed to find quality, alternative accommodation for all residents at no additional costs and assistance with relocation will be provided free of charge,” Orana Gardens Ltd chief executive officer Kristine Saywaker said.

“A significant number of residents will be able to remain in Wellington at Maranatha House and all other residents will be relocated to facilities in Dubbo.”

Orana Gardens Ltd has declined to identify the number of residents and employees at Bellhaven.

The Daily Liberal understands that at least 10 of the facility’s 46 beds are not in use and more than 40 people work at the facility.

Individual meetings taking place between staff members and management may cover potential employment at other aged care facilities or redundancy.

HIGH HOPES: John Trounce hopes Bellhaven can be redeveloped by a new owner. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

HIGH HOPES: John Trounce hopes Bellhaven can be redeveloped by a new owner. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

A new and almost complete $6 million wing at Maranatha House is expected to accommodate 12 to 15 of the Bellhaven residents and in Mr Trounce’s words “keep people in Wellington”.

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He said the closure would impact the community and its economy through job losses and less call on businesses and professionals currently servicing Bellhaven. 

But Mr Trounce said the Bellhaven building was a sturdy structure and a new owner could turn it into “all sorts of things”, for example a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre.

Mr Trounce hopes Dubbo Regional Council will have a “positive attitude towards those who might want to come in and develop” the Bellhaven site.

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