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Eden community to meet over Roy Wotton Gardens

December 6, 2022 7:19 am in by

Representatives of RSL LifeCare, the current lessee of Nullica Lodge, also known as Roy Wotton Gardens, were set to address members of the Eden community at a public meeting tonight however they have pulled out.

Eden Recovery and Resilience Alliance (ERRA), a collaboration between the Eden Community Access Centre, the Eden Chamber of Commerce and the Eden Visitor Information Centre, is facilitating the public meeting in response to concerns expressed by community members.

ERRA chairperson Carina Severs said RSL LifeCare was suppose to be attending the meeting to respond to questions about its plans for the former aged care facility.

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“We have been waiting patiently for many months since the closure of Nullica Lodge to understand RSL LifeCare’s plans,” Ms Severs said.

“Unfortunately RSL LifeCare have let us know they won’t be joining us tonight, however we have received rsvps from state Member for Bega, Dr Michael Holland and (Bega Valley) Mayor, Russell Fitzpatrick,” she said.

“Nullica Lodge is lying empty and has not been operating as a functioning facility while the housing crisis in the region is growing.”

In 2021, RSL LifeCare announced it was no longer financially viable to operate the Roy Wotton Gardens aged care facility and the building has been sitting vacant for around 12 months, with 10 years remaining on the lease.

“We were looking forward to understanding more about where RSL LifeCare is at with any plans to reopen,” Ms Severs said.

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“We’re an ageing community with critical housing needs and Nullica Lodge is a vital yet currently stranded community asset.”

Ms Severs said the meeting was set to be facilitated by Eden Uniting and Anglicare Chaplain Reverend Michael Palmer however Reverend Palmer has been called away, so Peter Skelton will be facilitating the meeting.

Other speakers will include Mick Brosnan from the Social Justice Advocates of the Sapphire Coast, who will speak about the local housing crisis while Bega Valley Shire Councillor, Joy Robin, will detail the history of Nullica Lodge and ERRA Chair and ECAC Manager, Carina Severs.

“Ensuring the community is informed about the future of Nullica Lodge is essential,” Ms Severs said.

“There is confusion about its status and any potential for it to be used to address the community’s social and retirement housing challenges.”

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“We understand current legislation and the Crown Land zoning deed restrict how the facility can be used. Given that, we are keen for the community to know what is possible and to have a voice in Nullica Lodge’s future.”

The future of Nullica Lodge public meeting will be held at the Eden RSL Memorial Hall, from 5.30pm today (Tuesday 6 December 2022).

Image: Eden Recovery and Resilience Alliance

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