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Southern Cross Care WA officials and City of Swan councillors in happier times.

Refund for Southern Cross as City looks forward

THE City of Swan remains hopeful Ballajura’s controversial Paradise Quays site can be retained for aged care, despite the collapse of the agreement between the City and proponent Southern Cross Care WA.

The deal between the City and Southern Cross Care officially died on April 1, putting an end to more than 18 months of problems after SCCWA agreed to buy Lot 501 Paradise Quays to develop an aged care facility in August 2018.

The decision to walk away from the project, made official by a two-paragraph letter after months of rumours surrounding the aged care provider’s commitment, put to rest a development that was plagued by a lack of communication from SCCWA and changing boundaries created by City of Swan council decisions.

In February, a City of Swan officer’s report warned that there may be serious financial implications if SCCWA were to walk away from the project in relation to the expenditure to date on the acquisition of the Lot 501 Paradise Quays, the chlorine plant relocation and resultant operational costs.

The development was discussed once again behind closed doors on June 3, with the City confirming it resolved to refund the $3.5 million deposit paid by SCCWA for the site.

The City also confirmed it resolved to initiate a scheme amendment to rezone the southern portion of Lot 501 Paradise Quays to local reserve-recreation.

The initiation of the rezoning will take place after the subdivision of Lot 501 into two separate lots – northern and southern portion – is completed.

The subdivision process could take six to 12 months and following that, a scheme amendment process could take 12 to 18 months.

An officer’s report from the February 2020 council meeting painted a dire picture if SCCWA did walk away from the project, warning that other interested parties may not be interested in investment in the project site as it would be the City’s third attempt to progress the aged care development on the site and would count as a lost opportunity for aged care within the City of Swan.

However Swan chief executive Mike Foley said the City still intends to pursue an aged care development at the site.

“The Paradise Quays development is an essential part of our strategy to ensure we have sufficient aged care facilities in the City of Swan,” he said.

“It will deliver important aged care and independent living infrastructure to meet our growing needs.

“The City intends that the northern portion of the site can be utilised for aged care, and following the completion of the subdivision process, the City will be in a better position to consider the future development of the site.”

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Echo News gives readers an alternative to other media outlets in WA and enjoys a very high rate of readership in its distribution area. Our Echo News team are a small group of devoted individuals who work hard to give the local community an easy to read, yet intelligent mix of local community stories.

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