Getting older? It's good news for Gympie
WE ARE all getting older - and that is good news, according to federal Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt, who visited Gympie yesterday.
Mr Wyatt announced a $5 million grant from his aged care budget, which he said would mean another 50 places at Gympie's Cooinda Aged Care Centre.
That will make 1641 places at Cooinda.
Mr Wyatt says we are getting older because we are living longer "and that's a good thing” for all of us, including the community at large.
Economically, aged care is a big industry and an important employer in Gympie. And culturally, it means the living knowledge and experience of the community and its history is not lost, he says.
The industry, which may be bigger than most people realise, employs hundreds of Gympie region people.
"We've got 236 staff,” Cooinda CEO Robyn Kross said, giving one example.
Mr Wyatt also visited Tewantin's Carramar Aged Care Centre, before hosting a meeting with aged care providers from around MP Lew O'Brien's Wide Bay electorate.
"Safe quality care is paramount,” Mr Wyatt said. "But this is also about jobs for the future, with aged care one of (our) fastest growing employment sectors.”
He said his visit put him in touch with service providers and their customers.
"Services in regional and rural locations can face unique challenges,” he said.