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Lack of housing hinders region

A lack of housing options across the Wimmera is hindering people relocating to the region for work. 

Rural Northwest Health, RNH, has hired 105 new staff since 2022 – 92 at Warracknabeal, 12 at Hopetoun and one at Beulah.

RNH people, culture and safety executive manager Glenn Hynes said a lack of accommodation for new staff continued to prove a barrier.

Mr Hynes said RNH had a goal of becoming the employer of choice in the Wimmera and Mallee, but the housing shortage was an issue in attracting new staff.

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“The lack of accommodation in the region is proving an issue as new staff looking to relocate are struggling to find housing,” he said.

“Social support is also an issue with many new staff, and particularly the large proportion of new staff who have joined RNH from overseas, reporting they can feel quite lonely and isolated.

“We’d love to see the community rally around and make a strong effort to make our new residents feel welcome.

“Diversity enriches our communities in so many ways, and it would be wonderful to see everyone embracing the new staff and helping them become part of the community, while learning from each other and exploring the fantastic Yarriambiack and Wimmera regions.” 

Mr Hynes said it was a significant achievement for the health service to hire the high number of employees as the region struggled with housing shortages, as well as continuing to recover from COVID-19 and drought.

He said not only was it exciting to have so many new staff bringing various professional skills and experience to RNH, but also their wide-ranging life experience and culture. 

“Recruitment has been a major focus of the people and culture team, and we had certainly been incredibly busy trying to fill the vacant positions, alongside our recruitment partner Latitude Recruitment,” he said.

“An immense amount of work, time and expense goes into recruitment.

“This is not only the job design and creating the position description, but also the advertising and head hunting, and then the interviewing, screening, visa application assistance, relocation support, and onboarding processes.

“When you consider that each interview takes an average of one hour, even if the candidate is later unsuccessful, it’s a huge time commitment. 

“To see the sheer number of staff who have joined RNH over the past two years is rewarding.”

Mr Hynes encouraged anyone with a property for rent within the Yarriambiack Shire to call RNH executive manager of environmental services David Siddall on 5396 1200 or email

The entire April 10, 2024 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!