Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

New centre for carers opens in Darwin

Carers in Darwin and across the Northern Territory will have better access to support, services and information with the opening of a new carer centre today.

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas, today opened the new Carers NT centre in Bayview, Darwin.

“This new facility will offer a ‘one stop shop’ of information and services for carers here in Darwin and across the Territory.”

“The Carer Wellbeing Centre will help meet a critical need in the carer community for support, training and new information, all in one convenient location.”

“There are around 30,000 carers across the Northern Territory. Each day the support and care they provide to their loved ones is pivotal to the wellbeing of the people they care for.”

“Centres like this new one in Bayview recognise the pressure carers are under and support them in their role.”

Carers NT provides information and direct support services to unpaid carers, including young carers as well as offering community education and training programs to increase awareness of carers and carer issues.

“For nearly 20 years now, the organisation has been providing services to family carers as well as isolated Indigenous communities across the Territory.”

“Through education and training programs, they have helped to raise awareness of carers and carer issues, giving them a voice in the community.”

Senator McLucas said the Australian Government is committed to improving the lives of carers here in the Territory and nationally through our National Carer Strategy.

“We have committed to delivering a National Carer Strategy and we are working closely with carers to deliver this.”

The strategy will complement the Carer Recognition Bill which acknowledges all carers should have the same rights, choices and opportunities as other Australians.

The Australian Government recognises the enormous social and economic contribution of carers and delivered a range of practical measures to improve the lives of carers including:

  • Establishing a new $60 million Supported Accommodation Innovation Fund to build up to 150 innovative, community-based supported accommodation places for people with disability.
  • Providing increased financial security for carers through increases to the Carer Payment of $128 a fortnight for single people on the maximum rate.
  • Guaranteeing the certainty of an annual ongoing Carers Supplement of $600 for each person cared for, benefitting around 500,000 carers.
  • Through the National Disability Agreement, doubling funding to state and territory governments for specialist disability services including supported accommodation, in-home care and respite.
  • Commissioning a Productivity Commission inquiry into the feasibility, costs and benefits of a long-term care and support scheme for people with disability.