The Dorset council has formally committed to financially underwriting the merging of the Aminya and James Scott aged care facilities and a subsequent redevelopment at Scottsdale.
The two aged centres in Tasmania’s North East have a combined licensed capacity of 62 residents, with the James Scott facility operated by the Tasmanian Health Service and Aminya operated by May Shaw in partnership with the council.
General manager Tim Watson said there had been a body of due diligence and detailed financial modelling to find a sustainable solution.
“We needed to negotiate what we thought was a fair proportion of risk to council and the community, and I am satisfied that the risk is relatively minimal and proportionate,” he said.
Mr Watson said it was clear that two stand-alone facilities were unsustainable, with operating losses in excess of $1 million per annum, but sustainability could be achieved once the operations were combined and located on one site.
This will require an extension to one of the facilities into a 52 resident room building within two years, at an estimated cost of $4.5 million.
“It is highly likely that council will have to play some role in financing that redevelopment, but council is fully aware of that,” Mr Watson said.
Deputy Mayor Max Hall said there was no doubt, with the council chambers overflowing at Monday’s meeting, that the community wanted the council to “move on with the job.”
“I know we have concerns for the employees ... but we should get it organised, we definitely can’t afford to lose this,” he said.
Health Minister Michael Ferguson said: “The Tasmanian government welcomes the Dorset Council’s commitment to the merger and we look forward to working with them constructively as the process continues, and more generally, on health and aged care in the region in the future.”