'Terrible': Woman forced to leave life behind

FORMER Gladstone woman Jan Street had tears rolling down her face as she and her husband left the region for Hervey Bay.

Two years ago they made the "terrible" decision to leave Gladstone in search of better retirement options.

Melbourne Cup day hosted by the GEA, GAPDL and the Gladstone Observer at the Mercure Yaralla Sports Club, corner of Wood and Bell Street, Gladstone. Jan Street. Photo Christopher Chan / The Observer
Melbourne Cup day hosted by the GEA, GAPDL and the Gladstone Observer at the Mercure Yaralla Sports Club, corner of Wood and Bell Street, Gladstone. Jan Street. Photo Christopher Chan / The Observer Christopher Chan GLA061112MELB

Now living at Palm Lake Resort in Hervey Bay, she says they're one of eight former Gladstone couples there.

Tannum Sands local, Maxine Brushe, also knows too well, the problem with the lack of retirement living facilities in the region.

She said she's lost many of her friends to Yeppoon, Hervey Bay and Bundaberg in search of retirement options.

Mrs Street, a well-known Gladstone woman, volunteer and community advocate, helped push for more retirement options in Gladstone, including the Philip St Precinct.

>> Ocean view, lifestyle retirement village planned for Tannum Sands

"We tried very hard to get a retirement village built at Philip St, but it didn't happen," she said.

The Philip St Precinct is a council project, aiming to create a health hub for the region. Gladstone Regional Council is still seeking funding for the project.

"It seemed like no one was interested, they all seemed more concerned with making Gladstone an industrial town," Mrs Street said.

She said most of the former Gladstone residents retiring in Hervey Bay, including her husband, once worked together at Queensland Alumina Limited.

Now living at an over-55s living facility, just outside their door is an indoor and outdoor pool, a bowls club, a gym, a library and more.

"I cried all the way up from Gladstone to Hervey Bay because I loved Gladstone," Mrs Street said.

"We just had to do it ... there was nothing, there was nowhere to go for retirees."

Councillor Maxine Brushe relishes work done by young members of the community.
Photo Paul Braven / The Observer
Councillor Maxine Brushe relishes work done by young members of the community. Photo Paul Braven / The Observer Paul Braven GLA290715MAXINE

A former councillor, and now retired, Mrs Brushe said it was time the region had the senior living options it needed.

She said she was a councillor when the Tannum Sands "lifestyle" retirement village was approved.

"It's on a very elevated site, the highest in Boyne Tannum, so it has panoramic views out to the ocean and even out west to the Boyne Valley," she said.

Mrs Brushe said many of her friends had relocated after they retired, and she didn't want to do the same.

"We're now retired and down the track in the next five to 10 years we'll probably be looking around for something not as big as the house we're in at the moment," she said.

Topics:  elderly retirement retirement home

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