NSW Premier, the Hon Barry O’Farrell, and the Federal Minister for Social Services, the Hon Kevin Andrews MP, officially re-opened Domain Principal Group’s Quakers Hill Nursing Home.
The original home was destroyed in a fire in November 2011, resulting in the tragic deaths of 11 residents.
Gary Barnier, Domain Principal Group managing director, said the tragedy would always be remembered but the rebuilt home is a new beginning and a positive step into the future.
“While we could not foresee a tragedy such as the Quakers Hill Nursing Home fire, we could learn from it. We made a commitment to our residents and the community two years ago in deciding to rebuild and this new home reflects the learnings from our experience, and presents the very best Australia has to offer in aged care,” Mr Barnier said.
It will accommodate 27 more aged care residents than the previous home with a total of 79 single and 24 companion rooms, with a dedicated wing for 16 residents living with dementia.
Within eight weeks of the fire, Domain Principal Group initiated the unilateral installation of fire sprinklers in its homes that did not already have them.
The NSW government announced in August 2012 the mandatory installation of fire sprinkler systems in all NSW aged care homes by 2016.
NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell, said: “As we remember those men and women who tragically lost their lives in the 2011 fire, it’s comforting to know much has been done since to improve safety in the state’s aged care facilities.
“I am pleased this home has been rebuilt so it can again provide quality care and support for families in the Quakers Hill and greater Blacktown area,” Mr O’Farrell said.
The re-opening of the nursing home will also benefit the community through job creation and continue to address growing demand for aged care.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Blacktown electorate employs 50% more people in residential aged care services per capita than the national average.
The Quakers Hill Nursing Homes will employ about 150 people.
The first residents of the newly built aged care facility will begin to move in from mid-March.