Queensland Government Media Releases

Townsville’s newest disability project opening doors for locals

May 16, 2017

Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland
The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Townsville’s newest disability project opening doors for locals

Townsville’s newest $1.3 million disability housing project will officially opening its doors today, allowing four local people with disability the choice to live in their community, instead of in health and aged care facilities.

Disability Services Minister Coralee O’Rourke said the new Belgian Gardens accommodation offered local people with disability the chance to live their lives on their own terms.

“Living a life of independence is such a fundamental human right and is one that most of us would take for granted,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

“But for those living with the challenge of high physical support needs, independence is not something that just happens – it is a constant and lifelong struggle.

“We know with the right support and appropriate accommodation facilities independence is possible, and for the four people who will be calling the new apartments their home, today marks the start of a new and exciting chapter.

“The project has also helped to boost our local economy, with around 50 businesses and more than 120 tradespeople working on construction.”

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said partnerships between the Government and service providers were critical to the success of projects like the Belgian Gardens accommodation.

“Disability housing has come a long way and organisations such as Cootharinga have played a huge role in advancing this important cause,” Mr Stewart said.

“Cootharinga has been an integral part of North Queensland’s community services sector for over 65 years and has helped improve the lives of countless families in the region.”

Cootharinga Acting CEO Matt Kinnane said the new Belgian Gardens accommodation was an important addition to their housing portfolio.

“We are delighted to help provide this innovative and premium accessible housing in North Queensland which will help customers who are currently living in aged care or long care stay facilities or are at risk of entering them,” he said.

“This house will provide these customers with a home that meets their physical and changing needs and will improve their independence and quality of life.”

The new housing includes two, two-bedroom units and one carer unit, and there will be 24-hour support.

The Queensland Government invested $860,819 into the project, with Cootharinga North Queensland contributing the land, valued at $440,000.