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Wednesday, 15 April 2015

COUNCIL URGED TO RECONSIDER HACC WITHDRAWAL

Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards and Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing, Martin Foley in Parliament last night urged the City ofGreater Bendigoto continue its provision of Home and Community Care (HACC) services toBendigoresidents.

Ms Edwards said the City of Greater Bendigo had been delivering this service to the community for over 50 years.

“Supporting the needs and facilitating community participation for people requiring care (of various kinds) has been regarded as core business for Victorian councils for many decades.

For the Council to turn its back on residents and now claim that it is not core business is a major shift.”

“Many residents have contacted me to express their very real concern as to how they will manage should they no longer receive HACC services through Council,” she said.

Ms Edwards is concerned that not just the range of services, but the quality of services that are widely respected among the 2500 clients of this service will be diminished.

“Additionally there is very real anger that should Council withdraw from HACC service delivery then 165 staff face losing their jobs. There is growing uncertainty for these 165 workers and their families about their future”.

Minister Foley believes it would be premature for the Bendigo Council to be making decisions at this point in time when the opportunities for systemic change are on the horizon.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is due to be rolled out in three to five years and this will re-shape the way the Commonwealth, State and Local Governments and non-government service providers respond to the support and care choices of people with disabilities.

Minister Foley said the City ofGreater Bendigoreceived $6.1 m a year in HACC funding, delivering services to 2500 clients.

“I would urge Council to listen to their residents and maintain their role as a provider of HACC. I would be happy to work with the local member Ms Edwards and the City ofGreater Bendigoto look at how we can assist the community prepare for future opportunities in HACC service delivery,” he said.

See Hansard 14th April 2015 Adjournment debate

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