After 40 years in the hands of the State Government, Tarcoola Village's Margaret Billingham buildings have once again seen ownership returned to Shepparton Villages, with plans in place to create additional care and accommodation facilities for the aged.
Gifted to the State Government by Shepparton Villages in the early 1970s through a trust arrangement with the City of Greater Shepparton, the land had previously been used by the Department of Human Services for low cost subsidised accommodation.
As part of the Tarcoola Master Planning Development, the re-acquired land will see the construction of 63 new independent living units, a 90-bed residential aged care facility and facilities for the existing Acacia House Nursing Home, which is due for completion in eight years.
Shepparton Villages CEO, Kevin Bertram said, "We are very happy to recover the property because it is strategically very important to the redevelopment of our Tarcoola Village and help us meet the demand of the ageing population.
"Instead of the units lying empty and deteriorating through disrepair they will be demolished and the property rejuvinated to reflect the standard of our new units and care centres.
"Tarcoola was created nearly 50 years ago by the Shepparton Rotary Club and other community service clubs in the area and their dream continues to grow and evolve.
"This is entirely appropriate to the memory of Margaret Billingham herself, who was a great advocate and supporter of rural communities, and after whom the units were originally named," Mr Bertram said.
Shepparton Villages Executive Manager Care Services, Kerri Rivett said, "The land sits right in the middle of Tarcoola Village so it is important and prime to our vision for us to have purchased it back."
Article by David Lee. Originally printed in the Shepparton Adviser on Wednesday January 9, 2013.