Aged care provider considers property sell-off

The Millicent township’s largest private landowner is considering the future of its extensive property portfolio. Boneham Aged Care Services has steadily acquired vacant land and houses facing Stuckey and Short streets and Williams Road since the 1960s.

The not-for-profit organisation has recently engaged Queensland firm Enmark Business Advisors to advise the board of management on its future requirements. The interstate firm has previously provided it with other consultancy services. BACS chief executive Michael Filsell said the review of the vacant land usage was timely.

“Following the Aged Care Royal Commission, we received government grant money for our strategic plan,” Mr Filsell said. BACS ended its long-held property acquisition policy in the previous financial year when it sold one of its houses on Williams Road. “The ownership of the house did not fit our current plans,” Mr Filsell said.

In her annual report released late last year, BACS chairman Gwenda Lawlor referred to the house sale. “The BACS Board of management is planning to review the best use of remaining land holdings in the coming year, utilising independent expertise,” Ms Lawlor said. “The board’s plan is to carefully invest the proceeds of any sales of real estate into income generating assets to strengthen our long-term cash flow.”

Her organisation reported a deficit of $266,000 in the 2019/20 financial year and this represented a $600,000 improvement on the previous period. The 130 BACS employees provide residential care for 110 aged residents and there are also 25 independent living units.

Its property review coincides with a buoyant real estate market in Millicent with median house prices jumping by more than 10% in the past 12 months. Agents report low numbers of properties to sell while builders are busy. For example, construction began this month on two new houses in the Finlayson Estate which is located on the site of the former Millicent butter factory.

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