Kiama Council has voted to overturn a decision made earlier this month to sell its aged care business, Blue Haven Illawarra, and replace it with a motion to further explore options.
At an Extraordinary Meeting tonight, the majority of Councillors voted in favour of a motion to reverse Council’s previous decision on the Blue Haven sale and replace it with a new motion to develop a consultation plan and further analyse all options of lease, sell, joint venture or retain the business.
The amended motion was moved by Councillor Renkema-Lang and seconded by Cr Rice.
To rescind motion 22/0580C and replace with:
- Receive the confidential Forensic Accounting Assessment Report of historic data, noting the findings and actions which will be required to be updated in the Strategic Improvement Plan for Kiama Municipal Council.
- Develops and implements a community consultation plan in accordance with the Community Engagement Strategy that includes Blue Haven staff and residents, as well as publicly releasing:
a) The background to any proposed divestment of community assets in response to the Strategic Improvement Plan.
b) An Executive Summary of the Forsyth’s Forensic Accounting Assessment Report, adopting advice from Maddocks dated 17 May 2022.
c) The Forsyth’s report, preferably by the 2023-2024 financial year, subject to further legal advice.
3. Gives delegated authority to the Chief Executive Officer to sign all documentation associated with the contract to McVay Real Estate for the purposes of undertaking a sale through public tender for Blue Haven Lot 71 DP831089 and Lot 2 DP1215276, subject to:
a) An analysis of all options (lease, sell, joint venture, or retain) of the component parts of Blue Haven Care, including the RACF, ILUs and home care packages and sites (Lot 2 DP1215276 and Lot 71 DP831089) being presented to Councillors for approval of the preferred option.
b) Council adoption of a Strategic Liquidity Plan, draft Acquisition and Disposal of Land and Easements Policy (22/026OC).
c) Council endorsement of the 2022-23 budget and Long-Term Financial Plan.
d) Appointment of Probity lawyers to act in Council’s interest and sound tender processes are used to ensure compliance with the Local Government Act
4. Commit to ensuring decisions relating to Blue Haven, including those made in negotiations with McVay Real Estate will maintain the following:
a) the high standard in quality of care for the residents and families of the Blue Haven Residential Aged Care Facility be maintained, protected and uninterrupted and continue to meet the requirements of the Federal Government Aged Care Act 1997 requirements.
b) The good reputation and care invested in our Blue Haven Independent Living Unit Community and Home Care Support Services be maintained, protected, uninterrupted and continue to meet the requirements of the Retirement Villages Act 1999.
c) The good reputation, working environment, and conditions for Blue Haven Staff of Kiama Municipal Council be maintained and protected.
5. Develop for consideration at the next available opportunity a Strategic Liquidity plan for submission to the Audit Office and the Office of Local Government including, identification of appropriate parcels of land from the Property Divestment Opportunity Register that could be accelerated for sale) and provides the CEO delegated authority to engage third parties as necessary to complete the business case (22/026OC)
6. Further to 22/043OC write to the federal Minister for Aged Care and the relevant NSW Ministers and NSW Shadow Ministers for advice on potential financial assistance and loans available to aged care providers.
7. Delegate to the Chief Executive Officer to advise TCorp of the above decisions and commence discussions and negotiations on acceptable loan repayment options.
Votes for: Crs Keast, Rice, Lang, Larkins, Draisma
Votes against: Crs Croxford, Brown, Steel, Reilly
Mayor Neil Reilly said while Councillors have been thoroughly briefed on the organisation’s critical financial position, they have also listened to the strong community sentiment about the proposed sale of Blue Haven.
“This is an extremely difficult and complex matter. While the proposed sale of Blue Haven is a key strategy in getting our finances back on track, we are also balancing the views of residents and other stakeholders,” he said.