Media Release by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

New centre for people with vision impairments in Western Melbourne

The Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services, Bill Shorten, today opened Vision Australia’s new $14.7 million Macaulay Road Centre for people with vision impairments in Western Melbourne.

The new centre, in Kensington, brings together employees and clients from Kooyong, Essendon, High Street Prahran and St Kilda Road.

Mr Shorten said the new centre is a great asset to people who are blind or vision impaired and their families in the region.

‘People with a serious vision impairment are still in many ways 2nd-class citizens in Australia and the work of Vision Australia in providing training and job opportunities helps to ensure that they are included in our society,’ Mr Shorten said.

‘Being blind does not mean you are not an individual with unique talents who can make a contribution to society or the workplace.

‘Vision Australia can service clients and staff from all over Melbourne at the Macaulay Road Centre which is close to train stations and public transport.

‘Research undertaken by Vision Australia indicates a strong future population growth in the City of Melbourne and surrounds and this will help it meet this demand.

‘Across Australia Vision Australia delivers a diverse range of services that are tailored to a person’s level of vision, including adaptive technology consultancy service, independent living services, employment services, training courses and guide dog and mobility services.

‘They aim to work in positive partnership with Australians who are blind or have low vision to help achieve the possibilities they choose in life.

‘This new centre includes a well-equipped low vision clinic where staff support people in the city’s west who have low vision to optimise their remaining sight.’

The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs provides $1.4 million per year to Vision Australia.