Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

Carers in Cairns have their say on the national carer strategy

Carers in Cairns today had the opportunity to have their say on the development of a National Carer Strategy, ensuring the needs of carers in regional Australia are recognised.

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas, met with carers as part of consultations being held in metropolitan and regional areas throughout the country.

“Today was an opportunity for carers to provide comment on the Australian Government’s discussion paper, Towards a National Carer Strategy, which proposes a high-level vision, aim, and five goals for the Strategy.”

“We want to hear how we can best support carers in regional areas, as the challenges they face are often compounded by limited services and support.”

“It’s important that the Strategy reflects all points of view and this is why we want to hear first-hand how services are working now and how they can work better in the future.”

“It is essential that we get the Strategy right as it will guide the development of policies, programs, and services to support carers over the next ten years.”

The Strategy will also set clear directions for government agencies and non government organisations that support carers.

The Australian Government is working with the state and territory governments to deliver the National Carer Strategy in the first half of next year.

It 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.

Consultations like today are invaluable in helping the Government develop a Strategy that delivers practical benefits to carers.

Submissions can be made until 5 December 2010. For more information, phone 1800 057 616.