In response to the Commonwealth Aged and Disability reforms, which are expected to impact the funding and regulation of a number of City of Casey services, Council has determined to begin the process to transition out of these services from June 2022, or as otherwise agreed with the Commonwealth and State governments.
The decision was endorsed at the 14 December Council Meeting following a detailed review of Council’s Aged and Disability Service. The review provided an opportunity for Council to examine the likely impact of the reforms, the priorities of Casey’s aged residents and those living with a disability, and the role Council can play in delivering an age and disability-friendly city in future.
The resolution means Council will now work with the relevant Commonwealth and State departments to proactively transition out of Aged and Disability Services and determine the timing of these changes.
Council has committed to continue delivering activities where there are no other providers able to deliver the service to Casey residents, to ensure vulnerable residents continue to receive the support they need.
The Federal Government’s Aged Care Reform is aimed at creating a simplified, national, integrated aged care program that provides older Australians with quality care, choice in providers, and easier access to a broad range of services.
City of Casey Chair of Administrators, Noelene Duff PSM said the decision means Council now has an opportunity to play a different role in supporting older residents and residents living with a disability, and potentially supporting a much greater number than would have been possible had Council tried to continue to deliver all the services it has in the past.
“There will be significant changes in the aged and disability sector, with a greater emphasis on client choice, a competitive market and a requirement for services providers with specialist skills as part of a holistic service,” Ms Duff said.
“While Council would struggle to compete with other service providers who specialise in this area, we still have a vital role to play in this space - a role that aligns with our strategic focus of enhancing access to service to support healthy and active living, planning and developing neighbourhoods to support people to be physically active in their daily lives, and supporting an inclusive, healthy and connected community.
“We also know that these things are important to our residents through the community consultation we have undertaken, the most recent being the Living and Ageing Well in Casey survey conducted in August and September this year and completed by more than 1,000 residents, including current users of our services.
“The results showed most respondents were concerned with access to transport and the ability to move around the community, community safety, the accessibility of public parks and spaces and support to navigate the aged and disability system and find information.
“By re-orienting Council’s role and investing more in the development of an age and disability-friendly city, we can support a greater number of residents and still provide a safety net for the most vulnerable in the community, to ensure no-one falls through the gaps.”
No changes are expected to be made to services before 30 June 2022 at the earliest, in line with the current funding arrangements and contracts that are in place.
Residents who currently receive Aged and Disability services will be directly notified before changes occur with any of Council’s services and we will be reviewing every individual client’s needs to ensure they are supported with any transition arrangements.
To view the results of the Living and Ageing Well in Casey survey, visit Casey Conversations.