Could an empty retirement village be a solution to some of Eden’s housing woes?
Nullica Lodge was first opened in 1995 as a home for elderly people who were no longer able to live at home. It was built on a 40-year Crown Lease, granted in 1992, and transitioned from community management to Anglicare and then RSL Lifecare.
In 2021, RSL LifeCare announced that it was no longer financially viable to operate the facility and it is now vacant, with 10 years remaining on the lease.
Locals are invited to come to a public meeting on Tuesday 6 December, to find out what can be done with the 27-bed facility.
The meeting was organised by Eden Recovery and Resilience Alliance (ERRA), a collaboration between the Eden Community Access Centre, the Eden Chamber of Commerce and the Eden Visitor Information Centre.
ERRA chairperson Carina Severs said RSL LifeCare would address the meeting and respond to questions about its plans for the former aged care facility.
“We have been waiting patiently for many months since the closure of Nullica Lodge to understand RSL LifeCare’s plans,” she said.
“Nullica Lodge is lying empty and has not operated as a functioning facility for almost 12 months. Meanwhile, the housing crisis in the region is growing.
“We look forward to understanding more about where RSL LifeCare is at with any plans to reopen.
“We’re an ageing community with critical housing needs and Nullica Lodge is a vital yet currently stranded community asset.”
Ms Severs said the meeting would be facilitated by Eden Uniting and Anglicare Chaplain Reverend Michael Palmer.
Other speakers include Mick Brosnan from the Social Justice Advocates of the Sapphire Coast who will speak about the local housing crisis and councillor Joy Robin who will detail the history of Nullica Lodge.
“Ensuring the community is informed about the future of Nullica Lodge is essential,” she said.
“There is confusion about its status and any potential for it to be used to address the community’s social and retirement housing challenges.
“We understand current legislation and the Crown Land zoning deed restrict how the facility can be used.
“Given that, we are keen for the community to know what is possible and to have a voice in Nullica Lodge’s future.
“Eden has adequate residential aged care facilities. What we need is an accommodation solution for vulnerable but independent aged and disabled people in the community.”
‘The Future of Nullica Lodge’ public meeting will be held at the Eden RSL Memorial Hall, Calle Calle Street Eden, starting at 5:30 pm.
Members of the community wishing to submit questions ahead of the meeting should email [email protected] by Wednesday 30 November.
Visit Eden Community Access Centre’s website for more information about ERRA’s Nullica Lodge Reactivation Project.