Aged care home could house families escaping domestic violence

Susanna Freymark

“There is a need for a domestic and family violence refuge in our LGA,” Councillor Danielle Mulholland said at the Kyogle Council meeting on Monday, May 8.

Ms Mulholland put forward a motion in support of the Core and Cluster program for women’s crisis accommodation.

The Core and Cluster program is an initiative of the State Government where $426million over four years will be spent to support women and children escaping family violence.

The first step is finding a suitable place for a refuge.

The Women Up North Housing group is organising the refuges with plans to transition the management of the project to the Aboriginal organisation Lanigiroba.

The group requires 3000 square metres of land.

Councils across NSW will be looking for ways to include a refuge within their LGA.

The cluster of self-contained accommodation for women will be positioned next to a core of services including counselling, legal assistance, education and employment support.

Ms Mulholland suggested the council look at sites where schools have closed as possible refuges.

Deputy mayor Tom Cooper said it was important to think outside the square.

“There is a building already in our LGA,” Mr Cooper said.

The former Caroona Aged Care Home in Bonalbo, next to the hospital and near a police station, was sitting idle, he said.

Councillor Rob Cullen said he was concerned remote school sites were too isolated to use for a refuge.

Councillor James Murray said most schools had already been sold off. He supported Mr Cooper’s idea.

Councillors voted unanimously to explore sites for the Core and Cluster program.

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