IS GLADSTONE sitting on a retirement time bomb? Whether or not the impending need for a new retirement village really is a crisis waiting to happen, everyone agrees that the region is in desperate need of a new retirement village.
Council has long been grappling with the problem and the region's state and federal members are also concerned that elderly residents are leaving the region because they can more easily find retirement accommodation in other regions.
Council is working on its plans for a retirement village at the Philips St Community Precinct and is hoping for a positive outcome from its application to the Federal Government under the Building Better Regional Cities fund.
Gladstone Regional councillors voted unanimously in early March to continue with the development approval for the Phillips St Communities Precinct, which would include a 200-unit retirement village.
Council looked into attracting a private investor to develop the retirement village, an option some councillors may have preferred, but it was unable to attract an investor. It is now committed to seeking government funding and many councillors are frustrated by the lack of an enthusiastic response.
The application to the Federal Government is worth $10 million and although there is no suggestion it won't be successful, council had hoped to hear a response by now.
If that application falls through, the pressure will be on the newly elected council to find funding for the home. Whether that would be through a different government fund or a renewed effort to attract a private investor would be a question for council.
At the April 28 local election, voters will no doubt have facilities for the elderly as one of their key issues.
One of the 22 nominees for council election, Garry Ross is chairman of the Gladstone Retirement Village Committee.