Date: 18 February 2015

Media Release

With a population of over 65s nearly double that of the NSW average and a projected increase from 21.4% in 2011 to 30% of the population by 2036* the recent allocation of 56 new residential places came as a welcome addition to residential aged care services in the Clarence Valley.

Not-for-profit aged care provider, The Whiddon Group Grafton, were delighted to receive 36 new residential licenses in the 2014 Aged Care Approvals Round. The 36 new places, along with Doherty Villas’ 20 places, bring an estimated value of $3.3 million in federal funding to Clarence Valley’s residential aged care services.

With the news of the allocations Whiddon’s Grafton Director Care Services, Mary Griffin, was pleased to confirm the organisation’s plans to rebuild and extend its residential care home on Clarence St, Grafton. The $22 million dollar construction project is funded by Whiddon as part of the organisation’s commitment to caring for older people throughout regional, rural and remote NSW.

Plans for the rebuild and extension of the home are currently with Clarence Valley Council and, if approved, construction work on the home will begin in mid 2015 with construction taking place over two stages.

The new residential home will have 113 residential places, 49 more than the current 64 places, and offer both single and double rooms with ensuite bathrooms. The 36 newly allocated residential licenses will form part of the additional 49 residential places.

“This is an exciting time for our Grafton home and we feel honoured to have been awarded these places. This [rebuild and expansion] is something we have been hoping for and talking about for many years, and now it’s happening,” said Mary Griffin, Director Care Services for Whiddon Grafton.

“The new home will bring benefits that reach across the wider community; a purpose-built home with private rooms, 24 hour care for our residents and a modern home in our own community that enables people to stay living near to their family and in a familiar setting,” said Mrs Griffin.

Mrs Griffin said the additional places in the new wing and total rebuild of the existing building will enable the home to help meet the demand for residential places and reduce waitlists for older people in the area.

Mrs Griffin added that Whiddon expects that the new building and construction project will bring a small boost and new jobs to the local economy, with up to 100 new jobs created with the new building and extra aged care places, increased business for our local suppliers, and up to 60 construction jobs created during the course of the project.

Federal Member for Page, MP Kevin Hogan, joined residents, staff and family at a special morning tea at Whiddon’s Grafton home on February 17th to announce the exciting news.


Further information:

Amiria MacKinnon, Communications Manager

02 9827 6631 /


*Regional Development Australia and NSW North Coast Ageing Strategy.