OzCare development to pump $65k per week into community

A NEW retirement village slated for Hervey Bay's OzCare centre will pump more than $65,000 per week into the local economy throughout the project's five year development.

The major project will include 132 dwellings, consisting of a mixture of duplexes, apartments and townhouses, as it's constructed in six stages alongside OzCare's Aged Care Centre in Kawungan.

The council voted unanimously to approve the project's master plan last week.

The $50 million development is expected to create dozens of construction jobs, which will flow on to local industries as workers are hired to staff the new residential centre.

Infrastructure councillor Denis Chapman described the approval as a win-win situation for the Fraser Coast, as the building's development will inject more wealth into the community.

"It's not only direct jobs, but also for people to supply food and products to people living in the aged care centre and the units," Cr Chapman said.

A start date is yet to be announced, but a spokeswoman from OzCare said about 33 employee and sub-contractor positions would be created within about two months of mobilisation on the site.

She said the project would inject an estimated $65,000 to $70,000 per week into the community during construction.

"This level of employment (is) expected to continue for the duration of the project, expected to be 4-5 years," the spokeswoman said.

"On completion, the retirement village is expected to directly employ up to six full-time staff with an estimated further 10 part-time staff."

In June, the council approved stage one of the project, which includes about 15 independent living units, a community hub and sales office located near the aged care centre.

Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce president Sandra Holebrook said the project's development is "living up to the expectations of OzCare's strategic plan for the area".

"It means all other planned stages will go ahead, and that brings ongoing construction and a health boost for local trade," Ms Holebrook said.

"But we want to see as many local tradesmen employed as possible... we want to keep them employed for however long it takes.

Ozcare's $40 million aged care centre, opened in October last year, includes 154 beds and provides dementia care, residential respite care and permanent care.