DHS is an 'institution' that exists in its own words with the mission "to enhance and protect the health and well being of all Victorians, emphasising vulnerable groups and those most in need."
So why are only some rather than all of the current Victorian residents of Kew Cottages being invited by DHS to continue living at the Cottages - on the new 'improved' ' KRS redevelopment' site ?
The intellectually disabled Kew Cottages residents are one of the most vulnerable groups in Government care. They have all lived together for decades at Kew. The redevelopment is ostensibly being undertaken in their name, so for DHS to offer each of the current residents an invitation to stay on in new improved homes on this beautiful site would seem a simple enough contribution to their 'quality of life'.
The alternative, which means selecting a chosen few - the 'lucky 100' who will be allowed to stay, is obviously inequitable.
But DHS is strangely silent in their 'quality of life' tender documentation when it comes down to explaining the basis for their selective invitation. Similarly, DHS says nothing about the need for their consultants to explore the potential impact of DHS's apparent favouritism on the individual residents quality of life. So perhaps there is a simple, 'self evident' explanation.
Prospective tenderers for this DHS quality of life evaluation are being told:
The Premier supported the announcement of the KRS Redevelopment with a
· The creation of a residential sub-division on the KRS site where some
100 residents of KRS can live in community residences as members of a
broader community; (p.6)
Why only 100 ? Does that mean 362 have simply chosen to move from Kew ?
No, that apparently is not the case either.
The Kew Cottages Parents Association say they have been attempting for years to raise the critical issue of there really being a lot more than 100 residents who actually wish to remain at Kew. First the Parents Association tried to raise the matter with DHS, then with the Minister for Community Services, and finally with the Premier.
But none of latter now wish to even discuss the prospect of more than 100 choosing to remain at Kew in 2006.
So why only 100 out of the 462 residents at the time of the Premier's May 2001 announcement ?
Well if the latter statement is to be believed in 2001 it was indeed at face value a more understandable and equitable approach. In 2001 it was simply a question of trying to estimate 'residents' choice' - because as the Premier's Media Release said in May 2001 : "it was expected about 50-100 residents who had strong connections with the Kew area would choose to live on site in new homes..." (More..)
So what has happened to DHS's definition of "choice" for 'those most in need' between May 2001 and February 2004 ? Did choice for those most in need just get conveniently 'lost' along the way ?
Perhaps the successful tenderer will be able to raise this question with DHS.... once the 'Quality of Life Outcomes' evaluation commences in July 2004. But don't bank on it (sic..)