Carol Altmann – The Terrier
Up it goes.
The pre-cast concrete walls of Lyndoch Living’s $22m medical clinic are being hauled into place this week, giving the first real sense of the sheer scale of the project.
It’s far from sculptural in design (give me Tomlinson Wing any day), but it sure is big.
In fact the total footprint of the building, plus the carpark, is 3210 sq/m.
To put that into perspective, an Olympic-sized swimming pool is 1250 sq/m.
The three-storey building is intended to house up to 20 GPs, two dentist chairs, a pharmacy, pathology, radiology, cafe, education centre, wellness centre, and an acute care area, but don’t start calling it a mini hospital.
It’s a primary health care centre, being built by an aged care home.
We are still not entirely sure whose idea it was to build such an enormous and expensive project, but it has had the full support of the Lyndoch board.
We are also still not sure, exactly, how it will benefit the elderly residents of Lyndoch, or whether it is financially sound.
Lyndoch’s new Chief Operating Officer Elizabeth Green told the local paper in June that there was absolutely nothing to worry about and the project was viable.
“It’s as simple as that,” she told The Standard*.
“This has been planned for a number of years using a number of specialists.
“We have looked at every option, every worst-case scenario, every best case scenario to make sure that whatever we do will work, and it will,” Ms Green is quoted as saying.
Okie dokie, but where are the figures to back up the “it will”?
As we know, former Chief Financial Officer Allan Conway, who finished his contract in March, holds a completely different view.
Mr Conway expressed his grave concerns in writing to his boss, the Lyndoch CEO, in the final days of his contract and said he could not support the clinic “in its current form”.
In other words, Mr Conway believes the clinic is far too big, and will leave Lyndoch exposed if it can’t fill it.
Both Ms Green and Mr Conway can’t be right.
Perhaps one was privy to information that the other was not, but why do we have two chief financial officers with two very different opinions?
(A good question for the October AGM).
Either way, the construction of the pre-fab clinic is going gangbusters in order to meet Lyndoch’s deadline of April next year.
In the meantime, the deadline for a decision on whether Lyndoch will be accredited for another three years has been delayed until February because of Covid19.
A decision was due this month, just five months after the national aged care watchdog found a string of serious failings within the nursing home.
Have these failings been turned around? How did they happen in the first place?
(Another good question for the October AGM).
In another update, I am also waiting to hear from the Warrnambool City Council on whether the corporate sign installed on the side of Lyndoch illegally last November has been given a permit.
Why is it taking so long and, given the sign was installed illegally, what is it still doing there? (Yet another good question for the AGM).
Lastly, I have learned from the WCC staff that the road gouged illegally through Scoborio Reserve to access the medical centre construction site is being reinstated, but there will be no fine.
Til next time,
* I have to quote The Standard, as Lyndoch has never responded to The Terrier’s questions.