Connect with us


685 墨爾本興建華人長者護理院刻不容緩

Must speed up building aged care homes in Melbourne

在全世界都定睛在泰坦號5位探險者的生死之時, 被俄羅斯聘請的雇傭兵華格納集團卻發動了一次令全世界目瞪口呆的叛變,在一天之內軍隊進佔離莫斯科不到200公里,  卻又在白俄羅斯總統調停下立刻撤退。事件戲劇性的發展, 叫世人深深體會到世界的無常和不可測, 同時也提醒了我們不要以為人可以掌控萬事。

上一期《同路人語》我提及墨爾本華人長者護理設施的需要, 維州工黨在2014年提出支持多元文化護老院的建立, 是獲得維州華人支持執政的主要因素。2014年, 維州工黨認為可以為多元文化社區購買土地,以長期租出給社區組織, 用來興建長者護理設施, 用以減低籌辦者集資的困難。

是的, 興建特別為某一族裔長者居住的護理設施, 比經營一所提供主流服務的更困難。經營者對客戶的選擇受到限制,要是一朝這族裔的移民大幅減少, 一段時間後,客戶來源就會枯竭, 經營者要作出調整並不容易。而且在護理設施內的工作員, 大都要懂得英語和族裔相關語言,要能有足夠合資格的員工也不容易。不過華人社團看到族群內長者的需要, 而籌建專為華人長者而設置的護老院, 是值得認同和支持的。

維州政府的計劃,是合宜和應該的做法。維州政府在2018年把一塊5千平方米的土地在史賓威南的土地交給了一個華人社區組織,籌建一所90床位的長者護理設施, 可惜其後因為相關組織籌措不到足夠資金而未能成事。同年10月維州選舉中工黨承諾會在白馬巿附近, 以同樣方式再支持興建另外一所華人長者護理設施。這就是我在上期所說工黨政府未曾兌現的承諾。

其實, 在白馬巿要興建的華人長者護理設施, 在2019年已得到聯邦聯盟黨政府撥款725萬元支持興建,而維州工黨曾提出會在2022年9月前選出合適華人社區組織承辦, 可惜至今還未批出。按建築費超過3000  萬元計算, 由於建築成本上漲, 每延遲一年批出土地, 華人社區就要多承擔350萬元, 而且上100 名的華人長者又要再等上一年才能得到入住。

因此我呼籲維州工黨政府要立刻作出批地的決定, 而不能再拖延下去。

周偉文 社長

Must speed up building aged care homes in Melbourne

While the world eyed on the fate of the 5 explorers inside the Titanic sub, the Russian mercenary Wagner Group’s armed insurgency was closing in as 200km from Moscow, only to be halted by Belarus President’s intervention. These dramas remind the world of our incapability in taking control of uncertainty.

In last issue we talked about aged care facility in Melbourne. The Labor Party’s vow on building multicultural aged care homes in the 2014 Election had gained support from the Chinese electorate. Their vision then was to supply land and then to build aged care facilities by agents for the long term need of the multicultural population.

To tailor-build facilities for the respective ethnic minority population must be harder than to operate one in the mainstream. The agent’s operation and income could be hindered by the downturn of a particular ethnic population size. It’s also hard to maintain a good supply of qualified multi-language workers. Nonetheless, the need for Chinese elderly in such community facilities is obvious and must be supported.

The Victorian government’s plan was goof and appropriate. In 2018, the government handed over a 5,000 sqm land in Springvale South to a Chinese community organisation for building a 90-bed aged care home. But the project fell through due to lack of capital funds. In October of that same election year, the government promised to build another one near the Whitehorse City. This was what we referred to the last issue that the government had failed its words.

Actually the plan to build one in the Whitehorse city was endorsed by the Federal Coalition government in 2019 through a 7.25-million-grant. The Victorian Labor government also promised to appoint a suitable agent from the Chinese community by September 2022. Based on a building cost of 30 million, annual inflation will cost 3.5 million for every year the government delays in action, with the consequence that 100 more elderly would have to wait for another year.

So I urge the Victorian Labor government must promptly supply the land for this purpose.

Mr. Raymond Chow, Publisher