Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

There’s no place like home for young people with disability

A new report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has found that an Australian Government initiative to reduce the number of young people with disability in aged care has made important progress toward delivering more appropriate care for young people with disability.

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Jan McLucas today welcomed the findings of the report on a visit to a new project funded through the Australian Government’s Supported Accommodation Innovation Fund.

The report shows a 35% drop in young people living in nursing homes since 2005, but there are still far too many young people inappropriately housed in nursing homes. And frankly this is because of the failure of the state disability service system to provide alternative accommodation,” said Senator McLucas.

This is exactly why we need more supported accommodation now and it’s why we need a National Disability Insurance Scheme.”

The Australian Government has stepped in with $60 million in funding under the Supported Accommodation Innovation Fund which will deliver more than 150 supported accommodation places in settings that suit the individual.

“The Cairo project which I am visiting today in Southbank is one of the innovative projects being funded through the Supported Accommodation Innovation Fund.

“The Australian Government has awarded $4.1 million to the project which is being delivered by a consortium including the Mackie Group, MS Australia (Victoria), the Young People In Nursing Homes National Alliance, AQA Victoria, BrainLink Services, Carry On, Haven Housing Association and Scope Victoria.

“The Cairo development will give its residents individualised and personalised support and help them to live as independently as possible.”

Cairo is a vertical village in Melbourne’s Southbank comprised of a high rise residential tower of approximately 220 apartments. The Supported Accommodation Innovation Fund will fund 10 self‑contained one bedroom apartments for people with disability.

“What we’ve learnt about the disability system is that we need a less programmatic response and more of a holistic approach, including better integration of supports offered across government.

“The Cairo project is a brilliant example of innovative supported accommodation that will see a variety of services providers work together to deliver effective, integrated support for people with disability.

Senator McLucas said the Australian Government wants to see people with disability have access to a range of supported accommodation models that will allow them to participate as valued members of their communities.

The Cairo project is a great model as we look towards the introduction of a National Disability Insurance Scheme, but the truth is we don’t want a template, we want different solutions for different people.

“A National Disability Insurance Scheme will give people with disability, their families and carers that flexibility and choice to make the solution that suits them.

“The Australian Government is working with the states and territories to lay the foundations for the launch of a National Disability Insurance Scheme.

“But we know the disability service system won’t be repaired overnight. The Supported Accommodation Innovation Fund is an important investment the Australian Government is making right now to help improve the lives of people with disabilities, their families and carers.