Changes to aged and disability services

Published on 12 March 2020

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Council has made the decision to cease delivery of direct care aged and disability support services from 30 June 2022.

Support services that Council will cease include domestic assistance, personal care and respite care.

From 1 July 2022, these services will be delivered by other providers and no client will be left without a service.

Council will continue to support existing clients to understand the choices available and to transition service arrangements when required. Impacted clients will be contacted by Council well in advance of any changes to services.

The decision to withdraw from these services has been made due to significant reforms in the aged and disability sectors by the Australian Government. The reforms involve major changes to the way home support programs are funded, planned and delivered to increase the number of service providers, providing more choice and flexibility for consumers, which limits Councils ability to continue to deliver quality aged and disability services.

Council currently subsidises aged and disability services by approximately $1.8 million per annum. It is now understood that Council will not be able to compete effectively or viably in the changing marketplace, and that these aged support services are better suited to operate independent from Local Government.

The decision impacts approximately 50 Council staff members, each to receive relevant redundancies and leave entitlements. The decision now provides clients, staff, volunteers and the community with a level of certainty to enable people to make informed decisions about their future and access to services.

Other aged and disability services will continue to operate as usual, including Meals on Wheels, property maintenance, social support groups, carer support, community transport, senior citizen club support and volunteer programs. These services are subject to further review and trial of options to optimise service sustainability in a competitive market.

Council’s decision to withdraw from these services mirrors that of other Councils in Victoria and Gippsland who are going through or have gone through a similar review process.

For more information, please go to Changes to Aged and Disability Services.

Quotes attributable to Mayor Cr Danny Goss

“Council is taking a considered and responsible approach to the Australian Government’s aged and disability sector reforms. The decision to withdraw from these services has been a difficult decision for Councillors and one not made lightly.”

“We are fully committed to making sure residents have ongoing access quality aged and disability care providers and services. We will not exit from these services until a time where the market is well developed, with such quality providers readily available. We will continue to work closely with impacted clients and staff to ensure everyone is informed about the decision and changes along the way, and that appropriate transition plans are in place.”

Quotes attributable to Director Corporate and Community Services Mark Dupe

“We acknowledge the many valued staff and volunteers who are impacted by this decision. This decision in no way reflects the team’s ability to deliver these services – which we know is always of the highest standard, with pride and absolute professionalism. We thank you for your outstanding service to our community to support people to stay connected, enjoy life and live more independently in their homes.”

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