darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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December 17, 2013

Efforts to provide more independent living opportunities for people with disability have come to fruition today with the opening of Noweyung’s new accommodation facility in Bairnsdale.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester and State Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull joined Noweyung Chief Executive Officer Ernie Metcalf, Chief Executive Officer of Housing Choices Australia, Rosemary Hartnett, and the community to officially declare the project open.

Both the Federal and State Governments have supported the project in a joint funding arrangement with Noweyung and Housing Choices Australia. The Federal Government has provided $1.6 million for the construction and development of the accommodation site while recurrent funding of around $340,000 per annum is being provided by the State Government for support services.

The development, which will provide independent accommodation for seven people, consists of three one-bedroom units and two two-bedroom units.

Mr Chester said the project would advance the services that could be offered to local people with disability.

“This project is much needed step forward in addressing a critical need for supported accommodation for people with disability in the Gippsland community,” Mr Chester said.

“Importantly, the funding arrangement between the Federal and State Governments a has taken into account the construction costs as well funding for recurrent services – so while the project is now complete, funding support will continue for residents.

“Credit must go to everyone involved for bringing this project to fruition, particularly Housing Choices Australia and Noweyung, who have a proud history of supporting people with disability in the East Gippsland for almost 60 years.”

Mr Bull said supported accommodation options in rural areas are of high importance and this facility will be a great asset to the community.

“The reality is we have a very successful and growing special school in this region and housing demand for adults with special needs will continue to grow as a result,” Mr Bull said.

“Local builder CM & HM Banks has undertaken the construction of the project and the finished result is, as usual, first class.

“Each unit boasts an independent kitchen, bathroom, lounge, and backyard, as well as access to a larger shared lounge and landscaped garden area.”

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