Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

$48 million in additional respite care for older parent carers in NSW

Older parents who care for their sons and daughters with disabilities will be further supported following the signing of the $48 million Bilateral Agreement under the Commonwealth State Territory Disability Agreement over four years between the Howard and New South Wales Governments.

The Minister for Families and Community Services, Mal Brough, has signed the Bilateral Agreement with the NSW Minister responsible for disability services, John Della Bosca, delivering additional respite care to older parents in the state.

“The Howard Government is committing over $24 million to this agreement on the basis the NSW Government matches it, which will ensure the continued recognition the contribution carers make in the community,” Mr Brough said.

“In the 2004-05 Budget, the Howard Government made available $72.5 million over four years for the establishment of new respite care services to assist older carers who play a major role in caring for their sons and daughters with disabilities.”

Under the Agreement older carers will receive:

  • up to four weeks respite care a year for parent carers over the age of 70 caring for their sons and daughters with disabilities; and
  • up to two weeks respite care a year for parent carers aged between 65 and 69 years of age who themselves require hospital care.

“Under the Commonwealth State Territory Disability Agreement, the state and territory governments have responsibility for the planning, policy setting and management of respite care services,” Mr Brough said.

“Valuable respite care services are already being provided in all state and territory governments with the exception of New South Wales.

“Negotiations on this important initiative have been slow, with the NSW Government the last to sign, however I am pleased the NSW Government has finally signed this agreement.

“Older parent carers can now been assured they will have access to much needed additional respite care in NSW.”