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Bairnsdale Senior Citizens’ Club - statement
Date of Issue: 
September 5, 2023

The 30 August 2023 edition of the Bairnsdale Advertiser contained an article aboutthe Bairnsdale Senior Citizens.

The newspaper stated:

“History says the club never received a share of the insurance the shire received after the fire of the Macleod Street home of the Senior Citizens.”

The said fire resulted in Council receiving an insurance payment of $525,000 in 2003.

That money was used as part of Council’s $560,000 contribution to the 2006 $1.169 million upgrade and new facilities at the Bairnsdale City Oval, agreed to by the senior citizens as a major co-tenant.

Council’s decision at the time included the formal acknowledgement of a co-tenancy document for the Bairnsdale City Oval, signed by the Bairnsdale Senior Citizens, Bairnsdale City Oval Committee of Management and Bairnsdale Football Club for the intended future occupancy arrangements for the new facilities with the senior citizens as major co-tenant of the new facilities.

The financial contribution of Council to the proposed works was on the basis that Council be a signatory to a formalised co-tenancy agreement and that such agreement will extinguish Council’s obligation to replace Bairnsdale Senior Citizens facilities that were destroyed by fire.

This decision was made public at the time.

Separately, the article raised the issue of ongoing grant funding to senior citizens groups.

This funding was previously provided through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) and ceased June 2022.

Previously available CHSP grant funding was administered by Council on behalf of the Commonwealth and all money was distributed directly to senior citizen clubs. As part of aged care reforms, councils’ senior club support arrangements were no longer available as part of the Government’s new Support at Home Program, commencing July 2023. This was not a decision of Council.

The proposed end of grant funding was well-known many years prior to its conclusion in 2022, with Council staff ensuring local groups were kept well informed throughout and encouraged to adjust their operations in preparation for new grant funding arrangements. Council has also worked to understand the position of individual clubs to provide support and advocate on their behalf.

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