Illawarra Newsroom

Kiama Council to sell Blue Haven Illawarra as it fights for financial survival

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Kiama Council will begin the process of selling its aged care business, Blue Haven Illawarra, as part of an urgent response to address the organisations financial and operational challenges.

Councillors formally received a forensic assessment report on Council’s financial management since 2016 at last night's Extraordinary meeting with the document further highlighting the need for both immediate and long-term action to ensure the organisation is financially solvent.

Mayor Neil Reilly said the organisation is at a historic crossroads and the situation requires courageous and decisive action.

"We have made brave decisions before and we have been enormously proud of being able to deliver aged care in our region for the past 40 years.

"But it's time for change. 

"For us to refocus on being a local government service at our core, we need to allow Blue Haven to have the dedicated, direct leadership and attention that any complex aged care businesses deserves.

"We need to do that so our past good work can continue to live on," Reilly said.

CEO Jane Stroud said the level of detail in the forensic report made it clear that Council's very existence is no longer financially viable without immediate and significant action.

"As CEO, I’ve laid out a proposed way forward, in the face of an unsustainable environment where Council operates a complex aged care business, side by side with its core local government responsibilities.

"This environment is negatively affecting all aspects of the Council, and the Blue Haven businesses, and cannot continue to be supported financially without significant risk to our liquidity and solvency.

"It was my duty to bring that to Council's attention and recommend sensible, albeit difficult pathways forward," she said.

Stroud said the decision was not taken lightly and is based on the extensive information.

"When I carefully consider all the facts available, I can no longer see a financial solution that allows Council to continue to keep owning and operating Blue Haven, without risking the business of local government," she said.

Image: Kiama Municipal Council