My wife and I attended the meeting regarding the Orana Care development proposal, along with 100 plus other Point Clare residents on March 14.
The meeting went for nearly two hours with Mike Furner, GM for Housing Baptist Homes, his team, plus a Lend Lease Building executive whose company will build the 55 unit complex, in attendance.
Mike Furner presented the Orana plan.
The hostile reception he got surprised him very much.
If he expected a warm and supportive reception, he was quickly disillusioned.
There was not one person in that room who gave approval to the plan the way it is now.
The objections covered much ground but here is our summary, the 55 units planned comprise 43 for aged people and 12 for single parents.
It is this latter area which got a vehement and universal thumbs down.
Single parents are seen to bring big trouble with them, violence, drunkenness, drugs and, generally, trouble for the complete community and social disruption.
Mike Furner said that most children of single parents were young.
Which means the majority would go to either Pre-School or be at home.
If the single mothers are working, who would look after the children?
This is particularly relevant as we were told that the single mothers would be trained as carers, etc. in Orana.
If they are working who looks after the kids?
Situated in Girralong St, the site is wrong because it is far removed from the Gosford-based support bodies such people require.
This obviously applies to the single parents rather than the old people, and public transport is not available through most of the day.
Point Clare Primary School is already carrying more children than it was built for and the nearby pre-school is also at capacity.
Parkingaround Orana is bad news.
Another 55 units, and the additional vehicles, will worsen this.
Traffic along Brisbane Water Drv is already clogging at certain times of the day.
A sharp increase in vehicles will compound the problem.
Central Coast medical services are already stretched and surgeries have either full or near capacity patient lists
Parents at last night’s meeting also made it clear that they do not want their children, on the way to or from school, to be exposed to the sort of people that ‘social housing’ exists for.
They want their kids to be safe in a secure community.
There was strong belief that such a development would have a major negative impact on Point Clare home values.
No resident wants to see his/her home value drop because of an ill-sited development
Mike Furner admitted that the reason for including social housing was to be eligible for Government subsidies.
The Government wants not-for-profit bodies to look after single parents, etc and pays NFP bodies to do so.
Finally, it was acknowledged many times that statements put into Orana’s Proposal to Council were wrong, or possibly wrong.
I don’t know how many times Mike Furner said, in response to someone from the floor pointing out an error in the proposal, “thank you, we will take that under consideration.”
We believe Baptist Care got it wrong big time in believing approval would be given quickly to what is a flawed proposal.
End result is Baptist Care has undertaken to go back and review the proposal and then to have another Orana/Point Clare community meeting to present and discuss a new proposal.
We reckon there will be more than 100 plus people next time around as well.
Mar 26, 2017
Chris Golden, Point Clare