SYDNEY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--New South Wales Premier the Hon Barry O’Farrell and the Federal Minister for Social Services the Hon Kevin Andrews MP today officially re-opened the Quakers Hill Nursing Home.
The original home was destroyed in a fire in November 2011, resulting in the tragic deaths of 11 residents.
The new Quakers Hill Nursing Home building, owned by Domain Principal Group, offers residents three times the amount of communal and leisure space than that of the previous home. It will also accommodate 27 more aged care residents than the previous home with a total of 79 single and 24 companion rooms, with a dedicated wing for 16 residents living with dementia.
Gary Barnier, Managing Director of Domain Principal Group, said the tragedy will always be remembered but the rebuilt home is a new beginning and a positive step into the future.
“While we could not foresee a tragedy such as the Quakers Hill Nursing Home fire, we could learn from it. We made a commitment to our residents and the community two years ago in deciding to rebuild and this new home reflects the learnings from our experience, and presents the very best Australia has to offer in aged care.”
Within eight weeks of the fire, Domain Principal Group initiated the unilateral installation of fire sprinklers in its homes that did not already have them. The NSW Government announced in August 2012 the mandatory installation of fire sprinkler systems in all NSW aged care homes by 2016.
“As we remember those men and women who tragically lost their lives in the 2011 fire, it’s comforting to know much has been done since to improve safety in the State’s aged care facilities,” NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell said.
“Working with the aged care industry, including the builder of the facility, Domain Principal Group, the NSW Government is ensuring all NSW nursing homes are fitted with fire sprinkler systems.
“I am pleased this home has been rebuilt so it can again provide quality care and support for families in the Quakers Hill and greater Blacktown area,” Mr O’Farrell said.
Commenting on the importance of strong relationships between the aged care sector and Government the Minister for Social Services the Hon Kevin Andrews added:
“Collaboration between Government and aged care operators is critical if we are to continue responding to the growing demand for aged care services,” Mr Andrews said.
“Together we will continue to set high standards of care and ensure that older Australians can access the specialist care they deserve, such as that required for those living with dementia.”
The re-opening of the nursing home will also benefit the community through job creation and continue to address growing demand for aged care. According to ABS statistics, the Blacktown electorate employs 50 per cent more people in residential aged care services per capita than the national average1. The Quakers Hill Nursing Homes will employ approximately 150 people.
“We have been overwhelmed by the response from the community to live and work at the Quakers Hill Nursing Home and to date have received over 130 enquires from prospective residents.” said Mr Barnier.
“We are excited about the re-opening and look forward to welcoming our first residents when they begin to move in from mid-March. Domain Principal Group remains highly committed to the provision of aged care services in Western Sydney now and into the future,” Mr Barnier concluded.
The official re-opening event is one in a series of events to celebrate the opening of the Quakers Hill Nursing Home, including a Community Open Day on Saturday 1st March for the general public and a private event for the opening of the memorial garden for the residents and families affected by the fire.
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1.Australian Bureau of Statistics,2011 Census. 28 March 2013. Available at http://www.censusdata.abs.gov.au/census_services/getproduct/census/2011/quickstat/SED10010?opendocument&navpos=220.
Notes to editors:
Domain Principal Group would also like to thank its business partners who have all played an instrumental role in rebuilding the Quakers Hill Nursing Home over the last two years including:
- Zadro Constructions – Construction
- Allen Jack & Cottier – Architects
- TSA Management – Project Management
- Blackett Maguire & Goldsmith – Private Certifier
- Taylor Brammer – Landscape Architects
About the Domain Principal Group
The Domain Principal Group was founded in 2008 through the merger of Principal Aged Care and Domain Aged Care to form Australia’s leading privately operated aged care provider. The Domain Principal Group comprises more than 5,000 operational beds across 56 facilities in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.
Photographs of the event are available upon request.