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More aged care places for Katherine.



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Nigel Scullion

Country Liberal Party Senator for the Northern Territory Phone 08 89813567 Fax 08 89813022 _____________________________________________________________________

MORE AGED CARE PLACES FOR KATHERINE M E D

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EMBARGOED UNTIL 12:30pm (CST) - Friday, 4 February, 2005

Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion, has described as, “fantastic”, news that Katherine is to receive five new aged care places and a capital grant of $180,000 in the latest allocation of funding by the Howard Government.

Minister for Ageing, Julie Bishop, and Senator Scullion today announced the government has approved funding for five new low care residential places at the Katherine Red Cross Centre. The centre will also receive a capital grant of $180,000 to assist with building costs.

Senator Scullion said the new places will attract annual recurrent funding from the Australian Government of $71,000 a year.

“Most Australians would like to remain in their own homes as they age, but others need the additional help provided in residential facilities.

“The government is committed to providing services for older Australians, whatever their circumstances, to meet the challenges and changes the ageing population will bring for all of us,” he said.

Senator Scullion said the new places at Katherine would give peace of mind to some of the region’s older residents.

“Moving to an aged care home can mean having to leave not only the place that you love, but the community that you are part of, so I’m very pleased that the Australian Red Cross Territory Division is going to expand the number of beds available in Katherine to meet the needs of local people,” he said.

Australian Red Cross Northern Territory Division Executive Director, Mr Ian Watts, said the government’s commitment to Katherine is very significant.

“It’s a wonderful initiative, which we welcome,” he said.

“We’ve been working hard to make sure the facility stays at full accreditation standard. Not only will this funding contribute to our ability to remain at that standard, it will also allow us to expand our capability and assist our long-term viability,” Mr Watts said.

The new residential places are only one component of the government’s commitment to a major expansion in aged care through its Investing in Australia’s Aged Care: More Places, Better Care package.

An additional 27,900 places will be created over the next three years across Australia, including new residential places and community services for people living in their own homes.

Additional information and a complete list of place allocations is available at http://www.health.gov.au/internet/wcms/publishing.nsf/Content/ageing-acar2004-index.htm

Media contact:

Joe Nyhan (Senator Scullion’s Office) (08) 8981 3567 / 0408 288 567