Sod turn marks a milestone at Illoura Village, Chinchilla

13 December 2022

The first sod has been turned at SCC Illoura Village Aged Care Home in Chinchilla, with construction of the new aged care home and regional education and training hub set to kick off in 2023.

SCCQ Chief Executive Officer Jason Eldering said it was a great moment to witness the first sod being turned, after many months in the planning and consultation phase.

“Growing communities where people can live their best life and serving and supporting Queensland communities is our core mission, and this is a very exciting moment in the evolution of this project,” Mr Eldering said.

“What is so exciting about this particular project in Chinchilla is that it is being purpose built to meet the clinical needs of the residents, while at the same time having that ‘home-like’ feeling.

“This new home will accommodate more residents and will boost access to high quality aged care services to the local community, so residents can maintain their established connections to the area, their families and loved ones.

“The new home comprises two wings and features 81 single bedrooms each with an ensuite. Residents in each wing will have access to internal courtyards, sitting, living and dining areas and nurse stations situated in close proximity to resident common areas and rooms.

The development will also include a new Training and Education Centre to provide vital training opportunities for people in the region who are embarking on a healthcare career. It will help skill and grow a local pool of qualified allied health and nursing professionals undertaking clinical placements in aged care through a partnership SCCQ have with Southern Queensland Rural Health (SQRH). This is part of a formal collaboration led by Associate Professor Geoff Argus between The University of Queensland, University of Southern Queensland and Darling Downs Health and South West Hospital and Health Service.

Leader of The Nationals and Maranoa MP David Littleproud said the sod turning was a huge milestone in a new era for aged care in Chinchilla.

“I am thrilled the former grant of $14 million I secured before the election is now locked in and the physical works are beginning,” Mr Littleproud said.

“Ultimately, this project is about people and about being able to age in a place close to family, reinforcing the future of care for senior residents here and across Maranoa.”

In addition, the Illoura Village redevelopment will accommodate and support Goondir Health Services to improve access to integrated allied health, community and wellness services for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in South East and South West Queensland.

“Together our goal is to address some of the issues our regional and rural communities face by creating additional education and training opportunities, growing a regional workforce which is socially and economically sustainable and offering greater access to care for members of the  community and region,” Mr Eldering said.

These partnerships signal another step forward for SCCQ and its goal to develop regional alliances and strategies that build sustainable aged care in rural areas of Queensland.

“We believe that we could offer the region an innovative and sustainable model for the future which creates jobs and keeps communities and families connected,” Mr Eldering said.

The Illoura Village redevelopment and expansion is made possible by the support of a $14 million Aged Care Approval Round (ACAR) grant which the organisation was awarded by the Australian Government on 30 June 2021.

“I would like to sincerely thank the local community, our partners and all levels of government who support our vision, including the Federal Minister for Health, the Honourable Anika Wells MP, the Member for Maranoa, the Honourable David Littleproud MP, the Member for Callide, Bryson Head; Lord Mayor Western Downs Regional Council, Paul McVeigh, and other organisations including the Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise and Southern Queensland Rural Health,” Mr Eldering said.

“This sod turning is an important step for the future of Chinchilla and surrounding regions, where our deeply valued Illoura Village residents, families and the community can live their best lives,” Mr Eldering said.

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