WHAT DO YOU DO? Merv McCarthy has accepted he will have to leave Hillside Haven. Photo: Peter Carruthers
WHAT DO YOU DO? Merv McCarthy has accepted he will have to leave Hillside Haven. Photo: Peter Carruthers

Last-minute rescue unlikely for Hillside

MERV McCarthy was lucky he wasn't one of the men who lost their lives in the Collinsville mining disaster.

Mr McCarthy had an equipment failure on October 13, 1954, and left the shaft just before the fatal cave-in, which cost the lives of seven men.

But he hasn't been lucky enough to avoid losing the home in which he expected to live out the rest of his days.

After months of trying to save the Hillside Haven Aged Care Facility, it is clear to him the Federal and State governments are not coming to the rescue.

Residents are making final preparations to vacate the premises by April 24.

A traditional union stronghold, the Collinsville coalminers pitched themselves in a constant battle for better working conditions, better pay and improved work safety.

But last week, Mr McCarthy was resigned to his fate, saying the fight to save Hillside Haven was over.

"This is like a home," Mr McCarthy said.

"It might upset me a bit but I will put up with it.

"When you got to do it, what can you do?"

Mr McCarthy said funding would not become available to save Hillside before April 24.

"You don't get much up this way. All the money they took out of here over the years, but they don't want to put anything back."

Most residents will be relocated to Murroona Gardens in Bowen, an hour's drive away from family.

Despite admitting defeat, Mr McCarthy said he would be the last to leave Hillside.

How you can help

Visit 'Save Hillside Haven' on Facebook

Visit http://www.change.org and search 'Save Hillside Haven aged care facility' to sign the petition to be delivered to Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley. The petition now has 5873 supporters.


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