Community facilities Health | February 16, 2016

Disability privatisation raises concerns

Nationals Member for Lowan Emma Kealy is calling on the Melbourne Labor Government to provide certainty to those living with a disability, family members, carers and service staff, as the Minister for Disability Hon. Martin Foley remains silent on plans to privatise Government disability services.

“I have been contacted by locals with serious concerns regarding the future of the Carter Street Group Home in Horsham, the Hunts Road Group Home in Haven and the Thomas Street Group Home in Nhill,” Ms Kealy said.

“Uncertainty and continued silence from the Minster since an announcement to privatise services is unfair to our local people, including people living with a disability, their families and carers.

“There are many uncertainties around the future of ongoing care, the location of care for individuals and their families as well as removed employment security for existing staff,” she said.

Wimmera Group Home services employ over 50 staff, which does not include the indirect businesses and people who support these homes.

“It is unfair that local people don’t know where they will be living and who will be caring for them once services are privatised. Potential private providers are also unable to discuss plans or prepare for appropriate staffing arrangements,” Ms Kealy said.

“If Labor is unable to find suitable organisations to transfer these services too, families are concerned Group Homes will close and clients moved away to larger city centres.

“The unknown and possible impacts on our local people are of great concern.

“The Minister for Disability, Hon. Martin Foley must immediately provide certainty for people with a disability, to ensure continued quality disability services and employment to Wimmera residents, families and service staff.

“I am standing up for concerned local families to ensure the continuation of quality care services for those living with a disability in the Lowan electorate,” she said.

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