Blue Haven Illawarra, Kiama Municipal Council’s aged care and retirement living operator on the NSW South Coast, has been fined $2,200 by the NSW Office of Fair Trading for failing to keep an up-to-date Asset Management Plan for its Terralong and Bonaira independent living units.
Asset Management Plans (AMPs), which are causing some confusion among operators and residents, document purchase, replacement, repair and maintenance of major items.
According to Kiama Council CEO Jane Stroud (pictured), the fine, while disappointing, was expected.
“We identified the lack of an Asset Management Plan for our Blue Haven business as a significant issue in Kiama Council’s State of the Organisation Report in February.
“We immediately made it a priority in our Strategic Improvement Plan and our staff have been committed to establishing this,” she said.
Jane added that Kiama Council plans to have a fully-compliant AMP ready to present to regulators and residents within three months.
“We also engaged aged care specialists Critical Success Solutions to help with this audit, as well as Blue Haven’s overall performance. They have been undertaking what is a major but essential task, to establish what assets we have, and how we will manage them.
“Naturally we would have preferred to avoid the fine, but this work should not be rushed and has been underway for some months. I have updated our Blue Haven residents about this issue as part of our ongoing consultations,” she said.
Kiama Council earlier this year backed down on plans to sell off Blue Haven, which according to Jane is still presenting a “financial challenge” – another reason why the AMP is important.
“When we recently set down Council’s budget for 2022/23, we were still waiting on the audit of Blue Haven assets.
“We currently have allocated less than 1% towards asset management for Blue Haven. The industry standard is between 4 to 8%,” she said.
Council has employed KPMG to help establish separate financial ledgers for Blue Haven.