The City of Ballarat has welcomed the announcement by the Australian Government that a new Meals on Wheels supplier will be established in Ballarat to ensure a seamless continuation of the vital service.
Federal Minister for Aged Care, The Hon Anika Wells MP announced on Tuesday night that Queensland Meals on Wheels has been engaged as the local Ballarat service provider from 1 July 2023 under a pilot program.
Queensland Meals on Wheels has been working closely with the City of Ballarat in the lead up to the transition, which is part of a wider reform in aged care services across Australia.
City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson said the understanding was that the organisation would be setting up a division in Ballarat, with the intention to trade as Meals on Wheels Ballarat.
“They want to embrace this new Ballarat service and establish themselves here locally, which is a fantastic result for all clients of Meals on Wheels,” he said.
“This pilot program is about a large-scale entity that specialises in this area of service delivery wanting to contribute to the Ballarat community.
“They want to engage our current pool of Meals on Wheels volunteers to stay involved in the program and help make the transition as seamless as possible.”
In November 2022, Ballarat City Council resolved to cease providing the Federal Government’s Commonwealth Home Support Program from 30 June 2023.
Council also endorsed the initiation of a new City of Ballarat-funded Ageing Well service model to commence operation from 1 July 2023.
The new service model will provide social support, community transport and other active ageing services that aim to reduce social isolation and improve health and wellbeing.
As a result of the decision, the City of Ballarat has been working alongside the Federal Government to implement changes that will see clients receiving Commonwealth Home Support Program services transition to new providers over the months leading up to 30 June 2023.
Queensland Meals on Wheels CEO Evan Hill said the organisation was looking forward to delivering quality service with the help of volunteers from the Ballarat community.
“Our vision is to build independence to nourish the lives of individuals and strengthen communities with a purpose to enable people to live independently by providing meals, social contact and services that support their wellbeing, health and safety,” he said.
“Meals on Wheels Queensland will continue to walk these values in Ballarat to create Meals on Wheels Ballarat and believe there is great alignment already with the service and ethos currently delivered by the City of Ballarat Council and how we both believe Meals on Wheels should operate in communities.”