Kew probe call
Leader - Progress Press (Melbourne, Australia)
January 3, 2006
Estimated printed pages: 1

A VICTORIAN mental health pioneer has called for a judicial inquiry into the State Government's quest to turn Kew Residential Services into a housing estate.

Balwyn resident Dr Eric Cunningham Dax has questioned the State Government's judgment in moving 380 residents away from the centre for the intellectually handicapped.

The former Victorian Mental Health Authority chairman reshaped mental health services by moving patients from asylums to community-based care in 17 years in the job. But he said the Government should reveal more information about the land's sale and better outline its plans for the new life long-term residents would be forced to lead.

``I'm so surprised that there has been less public reaction against it,'' he said.

``A judicial inquiry would see how land is being sold, who it is being sold to and what happens to the money that is acquired.''

The Government has vowed to pour profit from the $400 million redevelopment back into disability services.

Government spokeswoman Sofia Dedes described the redevelopment as a ``landmark project to shut an archaic institution''. She said all KRS residents would receive 24-hour care.

Ms Dedes said Walker Corporation was the successful applicant in a proper tender process.

``Every cent raised from the redevelopment will go towards providing high-quality housing and support services for KRS residents and other people with a disability in the community,'' she said.

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Edition:  1 - PPV
Section:  News
Page:  003
Copyright, 2006, Nationwide News Pty Limited
Record Number:  PPV_T-20060103-1-003-327118