Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

Expo connects carers to support services and each other

Parents and carers of people with a disability today had the opportunity to learn firsthand about the many local organisations and services available to support them in their caring role at an expo in Atherton, Queensland.

The Parent and Carer Expo, hosted by the Tablelands Respite Carer Association and Endeavour, featured information about support options, care facilities and future planning services in the local area.

Attending the expo today, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers Senator Jan McLucas said “The challenges that carers in regional and rural areas face are often compounded by limited services and support, so it has been positive to see organisations together under one roof providing relevant and useful information to carers in Far North Queensland.”

“The Australian Government is committed to better responding to the needs of carers, and events like this can be a wonderful means of reassuring carers that they are not alone.”

“We recognise how difficult it can be to plan for the future accommodation and care needs of a family member with disability, which is why we have put in place a number of initiatives to support future planning.”

These include:

  • Special Disability Trusts to assist families with the means to make private financial provisions for a family member with severe disability;
  • Information packages that provide detailed information about future planning arrangements for people with disability; and
  • The Family Relationship Services for Carers Program which provides free information about counselling and mediation services for families considering arrangements for the current or future care needs of a person with a disability.

The Australian Government is also leading the development of a National Carer Recognition Framework to better support all carers.

It combines the recently passed Carer Recognition Bill and a National Carer Strategy which will place carers’ needs at the centre of policy development over the coming years.

“The Australian Government is working towards making life easier both for people with disability and their carers so that both have the opportunity to reach their full potential and to live fulfilling and rewarding lives.”