The Richmond Valley Council says it is ‘very encouraged and pleased’ by recent discussions held with Federal and State government representatives in respect to the progression of contamination issues at the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome, which could be the site of the town’s much-needed aged care facility.

General Manager Brian Wilkinson said that in late February and March 2008 discussions were held with State Government representatives in regard to the clarification of issues and a way forward for the residential and industrial areas adjacent to the aerodrome and also with Federal Government personnel from the Department of Defence in respect of the site proposed for the Aged Care Facility.

“Both of those discussion forums were positive and focused on productive ways forward so that appropriate outcomes can be achieved for the community,” he said.

“Dealing with potential contamination issues is a complex matter; the issues at Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome have been dealt with in consultation with government agencies and also by following national guidelines.

 “The efforts of all parties over the past 12 months or so now means that action plans to address the various issues can be put in place.

 “A strategy to provide for dealing with contamination issues at the proposed site for the much-needed aged care facility has been identified in conjunction with the Department of Defence.

 “That strategy, if approved by the Federal Government, will provide for the Development Application, for Aged Care Facility, to be submitted to council by the end of July 2008.”

 Mr Wilkinson said that such a scenario would, subject to appropriate approvals, potentially allow the proposed project to commence in early 2009.

 “This represents good news and substantive progress for the future provision of aged care services in Evans Head,” he said.

 “Ageing issues and aged care accommodation are a priority issue for all levels of government and Richmond Valley Council is confident that a successful outcome for the proposed aged care facility can be achieved with the support of the Federal and State Governments (and the community).”

 See Aerodrome Committee’s response