Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

New group guiding implementation of National Carer Strategy

A new reference group guiding the implementation of the National Carer Strategy has met for the first time today in Canberra.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas said the National Carer Strategy Implementation Reference Group will provide ongoing advice to Government on key areas of the Strategy’s implementation.

“The Australian Government knows just how important the role of carers is in the lives of many Australians, and that’s why we are supporting our country’s 2.6 million carers,” Senator McLucas said.

“At the heart of our efforts is the Australian Government’s $60 million National Carer Strategy, launched in August last year, which delivers on the Government’s commitment to better respond to the needs of carers.

“The Strategy helps to ensure carers have the opportunity to take part in all aspects of society, including the chance to participate fully in work, community and family life and builds on steps the Australian Government has already taken to support carers.

“This includes a $53.4 million boost to respite services for carers of people with severe mental illness and a national campaign to raise public awareness of the role and contribution of carers.”

Senator McLucas said the Government has a number of reform priorities that will vastly support carers and those they care for including working towards a National Disability Insurance Scheme, the Living Longer Living Better Aged Care reform and National Mental Health Reform.

Senator McLucas said the advice from the reference group will be used by the Australian Government to:

  • Monitor the implementation of the Strategy and contribute to the development of the next two Action Plans, ensuring the Strategy remains relevant and responsive to the needs of carers;
  • Inform the development of practical resources and other supports to maximise the reach and impact mainstream service reform; and
  • Provide information and insights that will contribute to the ongoing assessment and evaluation of the Strategy.

“The reference group is made up of people who have first-hand experience, and know what’s important to ensure carers are supported in their critical role,” Senator McLucas said.

“Membership of this group is made up of carers’ representatives and members from the not-for profit sector including representatives from Alzheimer’s Australia, Carers Australia and the National Ethnic Disability Alliance.

“This diversity of views ensures that the Australian Government hears the needs and concerns of all unpaid carers.

“This information is essential to make sure that our policies and programs are flexible and able to meet the different needs of carers across the nation.

“I have no doubt that as a group of people with unique skills, knowledge and insights, the reference group will work to advance the lives and interests of those people whom they represent.”

See more information on the National Carer Strategy.