Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

Huge increase in Howard Government funding for People with Disability and their Families

A $1.8 billion package for people with disability and their families will help reduce the critical level of unmet need for disability services and positively impact on the lives of people with disability.

Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough today said as part of this package, $962 million would be provided to help older carers and their families.

“With some services available in 2007-08 and increasing each year thereafter, this will translate into around 1750 new supported accommodation places and 800 new respite places to be available by 2012, and additional in-home support and respite to assist older carers continue their caring role,” Mr Brough said.

“At a total cost of $721.2 million, carers of around 130,000 children with disability under the age of 16 years will receive $1000 each year, with the first payment in October 2007, to assist with the purchase of necessary support, such as a wheelchairs, communication aids, therapy and respite.

“The Howard Government will commit $23.6 million over five years to enable several services for children with disability to continue providing much-needed respite, early intervention and other services for children in their local area.

An increased investment in employment services for people with disability, will include

  • $21.6 million over five years for an extra 500 supported employment places in business services;
  • $31 million to continue targeted support to people with disability who cannot benefit from supported employment;
  • $21.8 million in viability support to assist business services in temporary crisis; and
  • $26.5 million in increased funding for disability services.

“As with the recent initiatives for Mental Health and Younger People in Residential Aged Care, the Howard Government is responding to crisis in an area of State and Territory responsibility – specifically the provision of supported accommodation, respite and early intervention services.

“I will continue to work with the States and Territories toward a new Commonwealth State Territory Disability Agreement, and maintain the Howard Government’s offer of $3.3 billion to assist states deliver services in their areas of responsibility.

“I urge the States and Territories to match the Howard Government contribution, by increasing funding to deliver more services in areas of critical need, to further improve the lives of people with disability,’ Mr Brough said.

Customers who are interested in getting more information can call 1800 101 888 or visit the FaCSIA website.