The pressure on Warrnambool's Lyndoch Living has mounted further with a new petition calling for the removal of the aged care organisation's board.
The Keep Lyndoch Living group will launch the petition on the Victorian Parliament website on Sunday night with the support of Member for Western Victoria Bev McArthur.
The petition asks the Victorian Legislative Council to recommend the government takes "all possible steps to have the board of Lyndoch Living removed and to appoint an administrator until a new board can be appointed through a public call for nominations".
It argues the board "has lost the confidence of the community it serves" and "has broken a social contract between Lyndoch Living and the community, which has existed for more than 70 years".
The new development follows a public rally organised by the group on June 5 to call for greater transparency from the board.
"The board has refused to allow members of the community to become general members of Lyndoch Living. More than 130 applications in 2021 were rejected without any reason given," the petition says.
It says the community has "grave concerns" about the direction of the service, the quality of care, and its future financial viability, and that the group has exhausted all other avenues in attempting to address the issue.
Ms McArthur said she looked forward to presenting the petition in parliament once submissions closed at the end of August.
"Residents are yet again showing their active concern for Lyndoch Living, which over the decades has been an integral part of the Warrnambool community. The exclusion of local volunteers by management, and the inaction of the board, has been a real red flag for me," Ms McArthur said.
"I realise the petition's demand is a drastic one, but the situation is serious. The board's failure to act, or even to communicate, has brought about this situation and I support Keep Lyndoch Living's effort to force significant change."
Keep Lyndoch Living group member Diane Riordon said the lack of transparency was the biggest issue, because it left the board unaccountable to the public.
"(People) are concerned that they cannot have any input into fixing their concerns because the community has no voice on the board of management," she said.
Veterinarian Dr Michael McCluskey, who applied unsuccessfully to the board in 2021, said the refusal of community membership did not "sit well" with him.
"I can think of only two reasons why the board would want to limit general membership to a select few: to maintain control or ensure secrecy. When either of these factors are at play, history has shown they can lead to unhealthy outcomes," he said.
Lyndoch Living chief executive officer Doreen Power was contacted for comment but did not respond.
The petition is available online and in paper format until August 31.
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