Kiama Council has held an Extraordinary Meeting to consider the tender for its Blue Haven Bonaira aged care facility divestment.
The divestment was considered in confidential session, due to its commercial nature, the Council said in a statement.
“Council resolved to decline all tenders and enter direct negotiations with the preferred tenderer. This process will take five weeks and any draft contract arising from the negotiation with the preferred tenderer will be returned to Council for resolution prior to contract execution,” it said.
Council also resolved not to include the Community Transport component in the main tender, due to Transport for NSW providing its own preferred tenderers for this portion of the business. Council’s CEO was given delegated authority to directly negotiate on community transport with the specified tenderers.
“This is one of the biggest decisions ever made by Kiama Council and has not been taken lightly,” said Kiama Mayor, Neil Reilly.
“I thank my fellow Councillors, Council staff and the executive team for the many months and in fact years of hard work it has taken to reach this point.
“I can honestly say this is the best outcome for Blue Haven residents and loved ones, our community and for Kiama Council.”
Mayor Reilly said the divestment of Blue Haven Bonaira (pictured) to the preferred tenderer, who is a registered Aged Care provider, will mean that Council can refocus on the core business of providing local government services, while knowing that it has retained the “much-loved and valued asset within our community.”
“As stated in the recent Ministerial review and Intention to vary a Performance Improvement Order, which was also tabled for information at tonight’s meeting, Blue Haven is running at a loss, the sale is essential to reduce debt and reduce liquidity, and urgency is required,” he said.
“As we work through the next steps in the process, and as always, I want to reassure everyone that the wellbeing and care of Blue Haven residents and their families remains our highest priority.”
Council CEO, Jane Stroud said that while Blue Haven is in Kiama Council’s ownership, it will continue to provide high levels of quality care.
“In the meantime I will be working hard on negotiations with the preferred tenderer to finalise the details of the contract so it can return to Council in five weeks,” said Ms Stroud.
In the next week, Kiama’s Mayor, CEO and executive team will hold a series of meetings with Blue Haven residents and their next of kin, Independent Living Unit residents, Blue Haven staff and Kiama Council staff to share information and discuss next steps.