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Mike Kelly hails end to buck passing on social reform.

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Media Release

Mike Kelly MP

Federal Member for Eden-Monaro Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Support

Office of the Hon. Dr Mike Kelly AM MP Member for Eden-Monaro, Shop 16, City Link Plaza, Morisset Street, Queanbeyan NSW 2620

July 25, 2008 08-097

Mike Kelly hails end to buck passing on social reform The Member for Eden-Monaro Mike Kelly has hailed positive initiatives by Australian governments for people with disabilities, for seniors, and for women and children facing domestic violence.

“These are all issues in Eden-Monaro,” Dr Kelly said. “The new commitment from Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments to stop the buck-passing will deliver genuine and much needed national reform.”

Dr Kelly said he was pleased that Ministers at this month’s Community and Disability Services Ministers’ Conference had agreed to establish a new National Disability Reform Agenda. It will place people with disability, their families and carers at the centre of

services across Australia, he said.

The outcomes build on the Disability Ministers agreement in May to provide a $1.9 billion funding boost to deliver 24,500 much needed disability support places across the country.

Also, by agreeing to develop a national framework for protecting the nation’s children, Ministers had placed a clear priority on the wellbeing of children.

“This is so important given the horrific cases of violence against children we’ve seen recently, including in Eden-Monaro,” Dr Kelly said.

“It is a breakthrough that Ministers are now working to improve the sharing of information in relation to families and children at risk.”

Dr Kelly said recruitment of foster and kinship carers and agreement on improving access to family assistance payments for those caring for children at risk will form an important part of the national framework.

Ministers had also discussed the critical role grandparents play in raising their grandchildren. A significant barrier the grandparents faced in an informal caring arrangement was having a consistent and recognised method to prove their care-giving status to access relevant government and other services.

“I also was pleased the Ministers agreed to support work to develop a draft national plan to reduce violence against women and their children,” Dr Kelly said.

“This provides an opportunity to strengthen gender equality and reduce violence against women in Australia through an evidence-based, innovative and comprehensive strategy.

“It complements the significant work already being progressed in each jurisdiction and supports the national child protection framework,” he said.

Media inquiries: Terry Bransdon 0488 499 166