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$19.3 million boost to respite services for carers.

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Media Release

Hon Kevin Andrews Minister for Ageing

KA140/2003, Wednesday March 19, 2003


CARERS across Australia will receive more respite services following a $19.3 million funding increase over the next 18 months, Federal Minister for Ageing Kevin Andrews announced today.

Today’s funding boost follows a $13.6 million increase announced three weeks ago to provide more respite care and counselling services to carers, particularly those in rural and remote areas.

"This makes a total of $32.9 million in new funding to provide more respite services and support for carers throughout the country," Mr Andrews said.

"Carers are unsung heroes who deserve the highest praise and recognition for their selfless dedication and hard work.

"Today’s announcement of an extra $19.3 million reflects the Australian Government’s commitment to carers and I hope these new services will help carers in their important role."

The additional $19.3 million - which will be available to the 63 Commonwealth Carer Respite Centres across the country - represents a 37 per cent funding increase.

"This extra money will provide more respite services to carers of older Australians, people with disabilities and people in need of palliative care," Mr Andrews said.

"Commonwealth Carer Respite Centres play a key role in helping carers obtain the respite care they need. Carers can get in touch with their nearest Commonwealth Carer Respite Centre by phoning 1800 059 059."

In the 2002/03 Budget, the Australian Government announced that $80 million would be provided over four years for more support for carers. The Budget also provided $55 million for the National Palliative Care Program to improve palliative care in local communities.

MEDIA inquiries: Felicity Dargan (Press Secretary) 0409 550 446