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Five year plan a positive step forward.



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Media release

FIVE YEAR PLAN A POSITIVE STEP FORWARD

Tuesday, 14 February 2006

Nationals’ Senator for New South Wales Senator Fiona Nash has welcomed a commitment by the Council Of Australian Governments (COAG) to reduce the number of young people with disabilities living in residential aged care, saying it is a positive first step towards addressing a long-standing problem.

As part of the commitment, the Commonwealth and the State and Territory Governments will both provide funding of up to $122 million to implement a five year program aimed at improving care and support services for younger people with a disability.

“I welcome the commitment by COAG to focus much needed funds on addressing the plight of younger people with a disability who are living in residential aged care,” Senator Nash said.

“The program announced by COAG is expected to be implemented in July this year in consultation with young disabled people and their carers. It includes plans to provide alternative residential care services and better support services for those remaining in aged care.”

The announcement at the COAG meeting last Friday came just days after Senator Nash spoke in parliament on the need to “deliver appropriate, efficient and effective services” for people living with a disability.

“The situation of young people in nursing homes requires strong measures to prevent premature admission to nursing homes. “It would be a tragedy to move these people out of the nursing homes only to have them placed in accommodation which is equally inappropriate. Younger people currently residing in aged care facilities should be provided with the option of moving into the community with adequate and appropriate support.” Senator Nash - Adjournment Speech, February 7, 2006.

“COAG’s announcement is the first of many steps needed to address the plight of young disabled people and their carers - both in the short and long term future, and I will be watching the program’s progress with great interest.”

Media Contact: Julie Siegert 0429 818 600