Work has commenced on a new 144-bed residential care home in Grafton, following a funding boost from the Commonwealth Government.

Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt AM, and the Member for Page, National Party deputy speaker, Kevin Hogan, visited the site where Signature Care Pty Ltd will build the new facility, after securing $9.36 million in annual funding to support running costs.

“The Turnbull Government’s commitment has been the springboard for a significant investment that will ensure more local seniors have access to high-quality, higher-level aged care services,” Minister Wyatt said.

“Aged care facilities in regional centres like Grafton are vital to help ensure senior Australians can stay close to their families and friends and the communities they have built their lives around.”

Grafton was identified as having a high need for additional residential places in the 2016-17 Aged Care Approvals Round, with funding committed to Signature Care for the operation of 108 general access beds and 36 dementia priority access beds.

Mr Hogan said the investment would create almost 170 permanent new full time and part time operational positions, plus extra employment in aged care support services.

“These jobs are in addition to those that will be supported during the construction phase,” Mr Hogan said.

“Signature Care estimates the new aged care facility will contribute almost $8 million a year to the local economy.

“We will not only have a wonderful new facility for Grafton’s senior residents, it is great news for long-term local employment, with aged care one of the nation’s fastest growing employment sectors.”

In 2016-17 the Turnbull Government invested more than $124 million in recurrent annual funding for aged care services in the electorate of Page, including over $97 million for residential care.