After being sued by a sacked chief executive and bailed out with an emergency taxpayer grant, a cash-strapped church will quit the aged care industry.
After being sued by a sacked chief executive and bailed out with an emergency taxpayer grant, a cash-strapped church will quit the aged care industry.

Seven nursing homes to go in struggling church’s fire sale

Hundreds of elderly Queenslanders and aged care workers are in limbo after a church-based provider announced the fire sale of seven nursing homes yesterday.

Queensland-based PresCare, which is owned by the cash-strapped Presbyterian Church, will exit the aged care industry after announcing the sale of all seven facilities.

 McGrathNicol Advisory has been hired to manage the sale of the homes, which care for 600 elderly residents.

The centres to be sold are Alexandra Gardens in Rockhampton, Groundwater Lodge and Yaralla Place in Maryborough, Protea by PresCare in Townsville, Vela in Carina and Lake Sherrin in Thornlands.

PresCare's Protea aged care facility in Townsville.
PresCare's Protea aged care facility in Townsville.

 The new WR Black facility at Corinda - which has just been built but has not yet opened - will also be sold.

 PresCare chief executive Wayne Knapp said the nursing homes would be sold to "suitably qualified and resourced alternative operators''.

 "The ongoing capital required to be invested by providers is significant,'' he said.

 "As we enter the sale process, the wellbeing of our residents remains our key priority.

 "We will be seeking to make it a condition of any sale agreement that existing residents are able to remain in place wherever possible and employees are given every opportunity to transfer to the new owner.''

A PresCare spokesman was asked if the homes would be closed if PresCare cannot find buyers, but did not respond.

 The federal Health Department gave PresCare a $650,000 emergency bailout this year to prevent the closure of the homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

PresCare is being sued for $2.36 million by its former CEO Greg Skelton, who has taken Supreme Court action to demand lost wages and damages following his sacking.

Mr Skelton, who was on a $500,000 annual salary package, was stood down in February - a month before he retired from the board of the scandal-plagued Presbyterian and Methodist Schools Association (PMSA).

PresCare's latest annual report reveals it made a $12.6 million loss last year.

Originally published as Seven nursing homes to go in struggling church's fire sale


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