State Government committed to moving people out of institutionalised living

30 Aug 2019 newsmedia

The State Government has reaffirmed its commitment to moving people with disability out of institutions and into community accommodation and is this week communicating with Highgate Park’s residents and staff about the facility’s eventual closure.

There are currently 11 residents living at Highgate Park, previously known as the Julia Farr Centre, who will gradually move into alternative community accommodation in the coming weeks and months.

Of the 11 remaining residents, five residents are being supported to move into alternative accommodation imminently. The eventual closure has been earmarked since 2014 and no new residents have moved
into the facility since then.

In the short-term, services will continue to be provided to the remaining residents at Highgate Park as they are supported to find other accommodation in the community or in aged care facilities.

Minister Lensink said the State Government’s priority was ensuring support for both residents and staff.

“We will ensure the utmost care and support to residents and their families at this time, recognising Highgate is their home and many have lived there the majority of their lives,” said Minister Lensink.

“This is the end of an era – Highgate Park provided support to more than 800 people at its peak in the late 1970s but we now know that institutionalised care is no longer considered best practice in disability support."

“Over the past few years the Department has been moving residents into community accommodation with great success giving people living with disability opportunities in the community than ever before."

“A specific closure date will not be set until all remaining residents have a place to transition to alternative accommodation.”

Minister Lensink said the State Government had worked closely with affected staff and unions over the past two years following national reforms to the disability and aged care sector.