31 August 2020
On 25 August, 37 staff at Casuarina Grove, an aged and disability care facility at Hamlyn Terrace in my electorate, were told their jobs were being axed. Staff received an email last Tuesday informing them of planned changes at Casuarina Grove, including redundancies for staff 'out of scope'. The New South Wales Liberal government promised there would be no cuts to regional public service jobs, and now they're cutting six enrolled nurse positions and 25 service support worker positions in the middle of a pandemic.
Casuarina Grove is purpose built for aged persons with a disability. As COVID-19 continues to unfold, it's distressing to hear that local aged-care and disability workers are being left out in the cold. Workers who have been on the front line of COVID-19, offering care and support to residents of Casuarina Grove, do not deserve this. In the past 12 months, three aged-care homes in my electorate have closed, making it harder for staff facing redundancy to find local work. The state member for Wyong, David Harris, and I have written to the New South Wales Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services calling on him to freeze these redundancies, at least until after COVID-19. These aged-care and disability workers deserve our support. Staff losses will impact residents of Casuarina Grove, who've formed lifelong bonds with their carers. The loss of these connections will be felt even more deeply given the isolation and loneliness of COVID-19. The residents and staff of Casuarina Grove deserve better. The state government must reverse this heartless decision in the middle of a pandemic.