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‘We’re this close’: respite centre will be built under a NSW Labor government

‘We’re this close’: respite centre will be built under a NSW Labor government

After nine years of planning and five years of fundraising and lobbying, Yvonne Cuschieri’s dream of a respite centre for Queanbeyan could be realised under a NSW Labor government.

If voted in on Saturday, NSW Labor has committed $600,000 to cover the shortfall in funding to build the six-bedroom centre, planned to be located on Ross Road. 

Leader of the Opposition Chris Minns and NSW Labor candidate for Monaro Steve Whan re-confirming NSW Labor’s commitment in Queanbeyan today.

Labor candidate Steve Whan has also committed to work with Respite Care for QBN to develop a sustainable funding model for the ongoing costs of running the centre, named Yvonne Cuschieri House. The respite centre became Yvonne’s dream in 2013 when she was struggling to care for adult son Steven, who had brain cancer. She had no choice at the time but to put Steven in an aged care facility when she needed respite.


Sadly, both Steven and Yvonne both passed away before the centre had been built.

Respite Care for QBN Chair Paul Walshe said it was wonderful news to get the commitment from NSW Labor, but emphasised the need for commitment from NSW Member for Monaro Nichole Overall to match Labor’s commitment of $600,000. 

A number of fundraising events have gone to funding the early stages of the centre, including a Sports Luncheon (pictured above) and the Men of Queanbeyan calendar.

According to Paul, construction of Yvonne Cuschieri House will commence as soon as an approved construction certificate from Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council is received, along with a matching commitment of $600,000 from the NSW Coalition Government.

“We are so close to our dream becoming a reality, Yvonne would be so happy,” Paul says.

“This would be a real shot in the arm to the community and provide peace of mind knowing the money was there to build this desperately-needed facility.”

The Respite Care for QBN committee and supporters on site at Ross Road.

Respite Care for QBN was launched in December 2018 with a vision to partner with the Federal Government, NSW State Government, local business and the community to get the facility built. A block of land in Ross Road Queanbeyan is the secured site and DA approval has been granted by Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council. The building contract has been signed with construction company Manteena. 


The facility will support carers by providing short-term professional residential care for people aged between 18 to 60 years who suffer from a terminal or chronic illness. 

“This is a much needed service in the Queanbeyan community,” Paul says.

“Currently residents requiring respite care are sent to nursing homes and aged care facilities, options that put unnecessary financial and logistical pressure on families. They deserve better.”

Nichole Overall’s office has not responded to a request for comment, or committed any funding for the respite centre.

The NSW state election takes place this Saturday 25 March 2023.

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About the Author: Holly Winchester

Part Jennifer Coolidge, part Jennifer Garner (gaudy and geeky), Holly idolises Dolly Parton and Princess Di and loves NRL. When she's not creating killer content, you’ll find Holly at the Maccas drive thru getting her chai latte fix or buying 1990s memorabilia for the walls of her Googong home. Specialist subject: the Woolies carpark.