Case study: Willows Nursing Home

Aged Care Facilities – Case Study Willows Nursing Home

By Nicole Gooch and Wendy Bacon

According to the GHD EIS Social Impact report, at least five aged care facilities including hundreds of beds lie near the path of the M4 East.

Residents of aged care facilities or their families try to choose the best environment for their final home. High on their list of physical priorities are peace and quiet, a bright outlook and easy access for visitors.

Aged care facilities are both a home for residents and a business. While the EIS economic impact statement did not conduct any consultations with other businesses, ‘social infrastructure’ organisations such as churches, schools and health care facilities were asked for feedback and nearly all told Westconnex of their concerns.

The Willows Nursing Home was no exception. The GHD report records its many objections including noise, pollution and dust and anxiety about how visitors and staff would access the home both during construction and afterwards.

This is because if the M4 East was to proceed along the planned route, Willows Nursing Home would literally be in the middle of a construction zone and later next to the tunnel exit and unfiltered ventilation stack.

People’s EIS interview with Sass Inbari.

Sass Inbari has owned Willows Private Nursing Home on Orpington Road, in Ashfield, since 1977. It was his father’s before that and Sass built it up from 27 beds to 40. The home provides high care support to its elderly residents, and welcomes visitors from 8.00 am to 8.00 pm daily.

The Westconnex GHD social impact study notes that as a high care residential facility “the impacts of vibration and noise could be detrimental to health and wellbeing of residents.”

Sass is concerned about the noise and dust occasioned by the demolition of the buildings immediately behind and next to the nursing home. Later there would be more disruption when this emptied space would be occupied as a construction site for the motorway and a parking lot for hundreds of large diesel trucks that will move in and out of the site each day.

The residents at the Nursing Home are frail and vulnerable. Staff are also upset and it will be a major inconvenience with road closures and works for relatives coming to visit, ambulances, delivery etc.

Bus stops on Parramatta Road are going to be moved, which means it will be harder for relatives to visit the residents.

Sass first heard about the Westconnex motorway on the news like everyone else, then about 3 or 4 months ago he got a visit from Westconnex representatives to discuss his concerns. “They took it all on board but I have not heard from them since,” says Sass.

He wants compensation because of the impacts of the construction and of the operation of the motorway, and he is worried he is going to loose business.

He is angry too as he says he doesn’t “know what good the Westconnex is going to do. All it will do is just shift the bottle neck towards the city.”

He doesn’t think people realise what impact the motorway will have.

All the other businesses around him, on Paramatta Road, have been purchased. Sass doesn’t wish to be purchased, only compensated. He is stressed and frustrated as he feels there is nothing he can do to change the situation.

Submissions to the EIS close on November 2. Here
is how you can make a submission

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