Media Release by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

$1 Billion in Support for People With a Disability and their Carers

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Kevin Rudd MP, Prime Minister
  • The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

In the upcoming budget the Rudd Government will commit one billion dollars to fund disability services and increase support for carers.

This one billion dollar commitment includes an extra $100 million in capital funding, to build more supported accommodation for people with a disability.

The extra $100 million in funding for the Rudd Government will provide for up to 35 new facilities accommodating up to six people each.

These new supported accommodation places will be available to people with a disability who may not currently have appropriate accommodation.

They will also be available for people with a disability whose parents are ageing and can no longer care for them at home.

These additional facilities to assist with the transition of people with a disability from home to other accommodation arrangements will allow older carers to better plan the future of their children.

These additional places will give older carers greater peace of mind and the reassurance of knowing that alternative arrangements are more available when they are no longer able to provide full-time care.

Caring for someone around the clock is both physically and emotionally demanding. Carers make enormous personal sacrifices and through their selflessness also make an invaluable contribution to the nation.

This new $100 million in capital funding will be provided immediately to State and Territory Governments. This capital funding will be allocated on a per capita basis and State and Territory Governments will not be required to provide matching funding.

The new accommodation facilities will be supported on an ongoing basis by the transfer of $900 million into the Commonwealth, State and Territory Disability Agreement (CSTDA) currently being renegotiated.

These funds have been offered on a matched funding basis delivering up to $1.8 billion for disability services including more respite services and ongoing funding for the new facilities.

The previous Government was planning to deliver this $900 million in funding independently of the States and Territories, duplicating administrative costs and missing the opportunity to attract matching funding.

The new investment of $100 million in capital funds for supported accommodation is a small but important step to addressing unmet demand and supporting carers to plan for the future care and provide dignity for family members with disability.

This package is particularly focused on providing a response to the concerns that older carers often have about the future accommodation and support needs of their children.

The Australian Government has also committed to the establishment of a National Disability Strategy to help improve long term support for people with disability and those who care for them.

The Rudd Labor Government’s first budget is one step in the Government’s long term commitment to improving the lives of people with disability, and their families.