Home rentals in demand

Home rentals in demand

Nurses are unable to secure local rental accommodation according to Millicent Health Advisory Council member Ron Wood.

Speaking to the March meeting of Wattle Range Council, Mr Wood gave the example of a Millicent Hospital registered nurse who was forced to stay each night in Mount Gambier.

He said the nurse tired of the daily 100km round trip and eventually opted to work at Mount Gambier Hospital.

“One of the registered nurses at Millicent Hospital is currently staying in the trainee nurses’ accommodation as there is nothing else available in Millicent,” he said.

Mr Wood is also a member of another key health-related community group.

He was joined by two fellow members Trevor Sinclair and Simone Berry of the Millicent and Surrounds Health Support Group.

The trio gave a presentation to council as they are seeking $6000 cash contribution in order to upgrade trainee nurses’ accommodation at Millicent Hospital.

The current nurses’ home was erected around 60 years ago as the Matron’s Flat and is outdated.

The MASH Group is operating under the premise that visiting trainee nurses on placement are more likely to return to Millicent after graduation if they have positive experiences such as comfortable accommodation.

Ms Berry said the three-stage upgrade project had begun well with 14 volunteers already donating 460-man hours since Christmas to such tasks as painting and carpet removal.

According to Ms Berry, individuals, businesses and community groups were also donating cash, goods and labour.

She said the first stage of upgrading the five bedrooms was nearing completion with the kitchen and bathroom next on the priority list.

It is the aim of the MASH Group to complete all stages by year’s end.

Councillor John Drew asked whether Wattle Range Council had any grants program available to assist the MASH Group.

In reply, development services director Emma Clay said the MASH Group application did not meet the criteria as it was a State Government asset.

“I will prepare a business case for a $6000 grant from council as part of the 2023/24 budget-setting process, “she said.

After Cr Dale Price queried the project cost, Ms Berry said the wet areas were yet to be determined while each bedroom upgrade cost $3000.

Retired health administrator Cr David Walshaw said the former Millicent Hospital had left a capital fund of $1m when it transitioned to a HAC around 15 years ago.

Mayor Des Noll commended the MASH Group for their efforts.

“It is important to have face-to-face contact with councillors,” Mayor Noll said.

“Accommodation for trainee nurses is a real need in our community.”

Why wait? Get more stories like this delivered straight to your inbox
Join our digital edition mailing list and stay up to date on the latest news, events and special announcements from across the Limestone Coast.

Your local real estate guide - every Thursday


You might also like