News &

Horsham staff accommodation

8 June 2022

Chris Sounness (Wimmera Development Association), Stuart Benjamin (Elmstone Property Group), Robyn Gulline (Horsham Mayor), Sunil Bhalla (CEO Horsham Rural City Council), and Dale Fraser (Grampians Health CEO).

Grampians Health has partnered with local developer Elmstone Property Group to deliver healthcare staff accommodation in Horsham. 

A shortage in accommodation is one of the biggest barriers to attracting qualified staff to the region, and Grampians Health have explored numerous solutions to this issue, to ensure they can meet the amalgamation commitment to grow a sustainable healthcare workforce, locally. 

The $8.3 million development will comprise thirty-six serviced units, positioned in a secure complex close to the Wimmera Base Hospital.  

All apartments will be self-contained with individual bathrooms and private kitchenettes, and four apartments are of accessible design to cater for staff and families with accessibility needs. Each complex can be configured flexibly to meet the needs of singles, couples, and/or small families. 

The benefit to the local community extends beyond Grampians Health staffing needs, as it will also free up rental accommodation currently occupied by staff, which will provide much needed options for the broader community. 

Dale Fraser, CEO of Grampians Health said “We currently rent houses across Horsham for specialists and their families, who are recruited both locally and from overseas, and rotating interns and nurse agency staff. This development will free up those rentals for the community. Providing high quality brand new accommodation will also provide an incentive to staff locating to Horsham. 

This is an immediate benefit of coming together as Grampians Health, that we have been able to think creatively about one of our biggest issues and work collaboratively with partners to get the project up and running.” 

Chris Sounness ED of Wimmera Development Association highlighted that this action is one part of many needed to ease the housing shortage in the region.

“The WDA housing blueprint highlights that increasing the availability of housing stock requires the innovative partnerships and solutions to ensure an increased range of housing options developed”, Chris said.

“Increasing the amount of housing that is designed for a particular tenant group increases the amount of housing available for families to move to the region. Currently our region has only 2.2 people per household however over 75% of our homes have 3 bedrooms plus.”  

Horsham Rural City Council congratulated Grampians Health on the project.

“This innovation will help attract and retain quality healthcare workers and ultimately improve health outcomes for our community,” Mayor Robyn Gulline said. “Improving the livability of the Wimmera is a key goal of Council and having access to locally delivered health services is an important part of that.”

Elmstone Property Group is currently undertaking due diligence on a potential building site and is expected to commence building the apartments in the next six months.


About Grampians Health:

Grampians Health brings together Edenhope and District Memorial Hospital, Stawell Regional Health, Wimmera Health Care Group and Ballarat Health Services to deliver safe, sustainable, healthcare tailored to changing workforce and community needs, for the long term.

This partnership follows years of strong collaboration and close partnerships between the four health services. Together, we will deliver better healthcare, enhance services and advance careers, closer to home, now and into the future.

About Wimmera Development Association:

Wimmera Development Association is the peak economic development organisation for the Wimmera Southern Mallee region – encompassing the Horsham Rural City municipality and Hindmarsh, Northern Grampians, West Wimmera and Yarriambiack shires.

Wimmera Development Association works with the community and governments to attract new investment, further develop existing business and promote the Wimmera’s sustainable development opportunities – both within and outside the region.

Wimmera Development Association is a vital link between industry and government and has a proven track record of advocating for and attracting new development to the region.

About Elmstone Property Group:

Established in 2001, the Elmstone Group is based out of Ballarat, operating across western Victoria. EPG complete land subdivisions, construction of residential dwellings, build and operate commercial and industrial projects and run regional Victoria’s largest private student and corporate accommodation service.

About Horsham Rural City Council:

Horsham Rural City is a vibrant, multi-cultural community situated in the heart of the Wimmera region of Victoria, approximately 300 kilometres north-west of Melbourne. The municipality has a population of 19,880, covering an area of 4,267 square kilometres, with approximately three quarters of residents living within the urban area of Horsham.