Results from a recent survey shared with the community of Eden and surrounds show there is overwhelming support for the reopening of Nullica Lodge as a housing facility for the elderly and people with disabilities.
A total of 194 people responded to the online and hard copy survey distributed by the Eden Recovery and Resilience Alliance (ERRA) during February and March 2023. This is in addition to responses gathered at a public meeting held in Eden on 6 December 2022. A total of 89 people at that meeting responded ‘agree’ when asked to respond to the following question.
How do you feel about the need for the community to take back the lease on Nullica Lodge?
The survey’s key findings are:
- 93% of respondents agree there is a need for Nullica Lodge to be reopened as a housing facility for the elderly and people with disabilities
- 97% of respondents support the Eden Recovery and Resilience Alliance (ERRA) continuing to pursue this matter
- 96% of respondents believe it is important for the community to have a say in the future of Nullica Lodge
- 73% of respondents believe Nullica Lodge should be owned and managed by the local community*
Eden Recovery and Resilience Alliance chairperson Carina Severs said a consistent theme expressed in the survey’s free answer field is that the community is concerned the facility, which was built with community support and resources, lies empty while the area struggles with a housing crisis.
“The community feels very strongly that the continued uncertainty about the future of Nullica Lodge makes no sense when there are fewer and fewer accommodation options for elderly and vulnerable people across the Bega Valley Shire.
“We have provided the survey results this week to RSL LifeCare (the current lessee of the facility) as evidence of strong community sentiment about this matter.
Ms Severs said RSL LifeCare CEO Janet Muir had responded to thank her for the information.
“Ms Muir has said RSL LifeCare will ‘definitely take this into consideration as we continue our own due diligence into the future of the facility. We are making progress with our decision making and will add this update to the other feedback and consultation we have collected as part of this process.’
“We will continue to encourage the organisation to be transparent about the process it is working through and to keep the community informed.”
Ms Severs said the survey results had also been sent to State Member for Bega, Dr Michael Holland, Bega Valley Shire Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick and Federal Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain.
“RSL LifeCare has a challenging decision to make about its continued operation of Nullica Lodge. However at a time when our community, like so many throughout Australia, is wrestling with the challenges of a housing crisis, we are asking the organisation to act with a sense of urgency.”
For more information please contact Carina Severs, Eden Community Access Centre on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0264963970
*In addition, 89 people at the public meeting held in Eden on 6 December said they agreed the facility should be returned to community management.