Councillors this week endorsed a joint submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, highlighting concerns over our community’s ability to access quality home support services now and into the future.
Local Government has played a significant role in delivering home support services to the community, however recent disability sector reforms and proposed aged care reforms may result in Councils being unable to continue providing home care services.
The joint submission on behalf of the Loddon Mallee Group of Councils (LMGC) indicated the reforms placed “an unfair and unequitable burden on regional and rural Councils”.
It argued that under the new model used by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and Commonwealth Home Support Program, providing quality home support services was increasingly unviable for small and medium-sized Councils, in terms of both resources and cost.
Importantly, Council will be working hard to ensure these reforms have a positive impact on community.
Councillor for Community Wellbeing and Services Min Poole said small and medium Councils needed financial assistance to cope with the transition.
“These reforms have created a lot of uncertainty for regional and rural Councils and communities,” Cr Poole said.
“The inability of local government to continue providing home support services under these reforms doesn’t seem to have been considered by the Australian Government or the NDIA.
“Our joint submission on behalf of the Loddon Mallee Group of Councils is aimed at ensuring our most vulnerable residents aren’t negatively impacted by these reforms, and that appropriate policy and funding mechanisms are in place to ensure quality service delivery in our region.”
The LMGC comprises:
- City of Greater Bendigo
- Buloke Shire Council
- Campaspe Shire Council
- Central Goldfields Shire Council
- Gannawarra Shire Council
- Loddon Shire Council
- Macedon Ranges Shire Council
- Mildura Rural City Council
- Mount Alexander Shire Council
- Swan Hill Rural City Council
The LMGC are each seeking endorsement through their Council processes to submit the attached submission, outlining the impact of the Aged Care and Disability Reforms on our regions.
The submission will be made to the Royal Commission by 30 September.