Hillside Haven aged care facility. Photo Peter Carruthers / Whitsunday Guardian
Hillside Haven aged care facility. Photo Peter Carruthers / Whitsunday Guardian Peter Carruthers

Hillside Haven worker frustrated questions remain unanswered

A WORKER at the doomed Hillside Haven nursing home in Collinsville said she was "frustrated" that answers relating to the home's financial situation would remain answered after Debbie Rivers' death a week ago.

Ms Rivers was found dead at undisclosed location in Cairns on April 7, police say her death is not suspicious.

Activities officer at Hillside Haven, Vicki May indicated Ms Rivers' death meant they would never hear an explanation about why Hillside Haven had to close.

"It's frustrating because we are not going to get any answers," she said.

Some staff and residents blame Ms Rivers for Hillside Haven closing down and for allegedly borrowing against a community owned asset.

"We have not been told anything is going to change as far as the closure of the facility goes."

"We don't know if she passed naturally or was assisted.

"If its suicide, it's the easy way out and still leaves us in limbo."

Unsubstantiated reports indicate Ms Rivers was found floating in the swimming pool of her Cairns apartment - police wouldn't confirm this.

District Duty Officer of the Cairns Police John Rhodes said all evidence relating to the death has been handed over to the coroner.

Ms Rivers' death is not considered suspicious and a "normal course of review" will now be conducted, DDO Rhodes said.

Ms Rivers was the operator of D&R Community Services, the company managed the Hillside Haven nursing home in Collinsville before receivers were appointed in March.

After allegations of Ms Rivers misappropriating resident trust funds MP Michelle Landry called for a criminal investigation.

D&R Community Services and Ms Rivers had also been referred to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission by Burdekin MP Dale Last in March.


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