Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Supporting extraordinary Australians

Australia’s 2.6 million carers will be better supported in their caring role with the aid of a useful reference guide produced by the Howard Government and Carers Australia.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today officially launched the Advice for Carers Information Kit at the Commonwealth Carer Respite Centre Western Metropolitan Region in Footscray, Victoria.

“Carers tell me one of their main problems is finding out what services and programs are available to them, this information kit will alleviate this problem,” Senator Patterson said.

“The kit will strengthen the links between services and carers by providing information about services available from the Department of Family and Community Services, Centrelink and the Australian Taxation Office.

“The Howard Government recognises the range of care needs, differing care situations and the long-term commitment of carers and will continue to provide support and assistance to carers to continue their valuable role.

“Recently the Prime Minister announced a $200 million package of measures to assist families, who are in a position to do so, to provide for the future care of their sons and daughters with a disability.

“I am a passionate advocate for carers, especially this older group of people. They deserve recognition and they need support, which is why I have been working hard to develop the package announced by the Prime Minister.

“The major component of the measures will provide means test concessions to encourage families to make private financial provisions for the care of a son or daughter with severe disabilities.

“Other assistance provided in this package will see access to mediation and counselling services for families, financial information kits for parents considering private provisions and more research to better inform policy proposals.

“The Howard Government will continue to provide support and assistance to Australia’s carers in managing the challenges they face as part of their caring role,” Senator Patterson said.

The kit may be obtained from Commonwealth Carer Resource Centres by calling 1800 242 636 (Free call except from mobile phones where mobile phone rates will apply).