Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Funding to continue for young people in or at risk of entering residential age care

The Minister for Community Services Jenny Macklin today confirmed that Australian Government funding for a program to keep younger people with disability out of residential aged care is continuing, after incorrect statements that funding for the program would run out this Thursday.

The Australian Government is delivering $38 million this year for states and territories to provide assistance to younger people with disability in, or at risk of entering residential aged care.

This funding is guaranteed into the future, and will continue to grow in line with generous indexation arrangements.

“I believe that young people with disability should have the choice to live with people of their own age, in as much comfort and dignity as possible,” Ms Macklin said.

“I do not want families unnecessarily alarmed by statements today from The Young People in Nursing Homes National Alliance and MS Australia that funding will run out this Thursday.”

This issue was previously raised in the Federal Parliament by the Member for New England, Tony Windsor, on May 26 and at that time Minister Macklin confirmed to the Parliament that Australian Government funding for the program was ongoing.

State and territory governments are responsible for helping younger people with disability in, or at risk of entering, residential aged care.

The National Disability Agreement contains a specific performance benchmark on young people in residential aged care, highlighting the continuing importance of this area.

In December 2010, Commonwealth, State and Territory Disability Ministers affirmed their continued commitment to delivering appropriate accommodation options for younger people with disability.

Under the Supported Accommodation Innovation Fund, for the first time, the government will be giving community organisations the opportunity to apply for direct capital funding from the Federal Government.

The Supported Accommodation Innovation Fund builds on our $100 million capital injection in 2008 to build over 300 supported accommodation places, which are on track to be delivered by 2012.