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Friday, 29 May 1998
Page: 3462


Senator NEWMAN (Social Security) (10:39 AM) —by leave—I move:

That the House of Representatives be requested to make the following amendments:

(2) Schedule 1, item 3, page 4 (lines 25 to 27), omit subparagraphs (iv) and (v), substitute:

(iv) the child:

(A) has urinary and faecal incontinence day and night; and

(B) if under 3 years of age, is expected to have urinary and faecal incontinence day and night at the age of 3;

(v) the child:

(A) cannot stand without support; and

(B) if under 2 years of age, is expected to be unable to stand without support at the age of 2;

(3) Schedule 1, item 3, page 4 (lines 31 to 33), omit subparagraph (vii), substitute:

(vii) the child:

(A) requires personal care on 2 or more occasions between 10 pm and 6 am each day; and

(B) if under 6 months of age, is expected to require care as described in sub-subparagraph (A) at the age of 6 months.

Schedule 1 of the bill would extend the qualifications for carer payment to carers of profoundly disabled children, as we know. As currently drafted, part of the definition of `profoundly disabled' requires that a child's disability or condition include three or more of seven listed circumstances. Three of those circumstances are age related, and are as follows: the child is at least three and has urinary and faecal incontinence day and night; the child is at least two and cannot stand without support; the child is at least six months of age and requires personal care on two or more occasions between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. each day.

Since the introduction of the bill, extensive consultations have taken place with carer organisations on the impact of the measure. As a result of those consultations, it has been decided that these age related criteria should be extended to include not only a child who is under the age specified in a criterion, but also a child who has the care needs specified and who will not reach the relevant developmental milestone by the specified age. For example, in relation to a child standing without support, qualification would be extended to cover children who are under the age of two and unable to stand without support and who are expected to be unable to stand without support at the age of two.