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Disability Update

8 May 2008

The Hon Lisa Neville MP

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It was great to see so many of you at the budget briefing on Tuesday. But for those of you who weren’t able
to join us, I want to take this opportunity to update you on the very positive outcome we had for disability
services, and what this means for Victorians with a disability, their families and carers.
This budget continues to progress the vision of the Victoria State Disability Plan 2002-2012 with a focus
on supporting the needs of people with a disability by providing more choice and control over supports
and making the system simpler to understand and navigate.
Detailed below are some but not all of the outcomes that I know are of interest throughout the sector.
I am strongly committed to realising the benefits of this additional investment to improving the lives
of people with a disability.

VICTORIA’S BIGGEST INVESTMENT IN DISABILITY SERVICES


Victorians with a disability will benefit from the single biggest investment in Victoria’s history in disability
services in the landmark $233.4 million package, announced yesterday in the 2008-09 State Budget.
This is in addition to the $19.9 million ($80.4 million over four years) which commences in 2008-09 as
part of the election commitment.
The budget funding demonstrates the commitment of the Government to continue the process of service
transformation initiated by the Victoria State Disability Plan 2002-2012 and places a focus on:
• greater access to individual support packages;
• improving access to accommodation;
• expanding and reforming respite services;
• more aids and equipment;
• a community awareness strategy to improve access and incentives to using mainstream programs
and services, and
• extending the development of Disability Action Plans to public and community sector organisations
to improve accessibility and employment opportunities for people with a disability.

Authorised by Hon Lisa Neville MP, 50 Lonsdale Street Melbourne.


The Government is taking action to address the pressure points that many Victorians with a disability have
identified to me. In particular, the substantial injection of funding will help to ease the pressures on families
and carers, and assist community organisations to help people with a disability to participate in the wider
community.
I would like to highlight some of the key initiatives of this historic funding package. These include:
• one-off capital funding of $50 million for the replacement of shared supported accommodation and
$10 million for the development of new accommodation options for young people with disabilities currently
residing in or at risk of entering residential aged care accommodation services;
• $17 million in 2008-09 ($70.6 million over four years) for additional Individualised Support Packages
for 340 people with a disability to access flexible support options based on their preferences and needs.
A significant portion of this funding will be delivered to people with higher support needs requiring
accommodation support services:
• $4.2 million in 2008-09 ($17.6 million over four years) to pilot enhanced individualised planning.
This initiative will help individuals and their families tailor supports, particularly at key transition stages
of the life-cycle;
• funding for disability supports through a one-off funding boost of $5 million in 2007-08 to increase the
number of people with disabilities, chronic illness and the frail aged assisted by the Aids and Equipment
Program:
• support to sustain informal care arrangements for people with a disability by an additional $3.7 million
($16.0 million over four years) to deliver 330 episodes of respite and an on-line respite information service;
• funding of $2.4 million in 2008-09 ($10 million over four years) to provide intensive support to eligible
young people to develop their job skills and achieve a sustainable and long-term employment outcome;
• an additional $1 million in 2008-09 ($4.16 million over four years), building on the previous commitment of
$4 million for 2008-09 to address the demand for the Acquired Brain Injury Program and provide additional
ongoing capacity for the Acquired Brain Injury:Slow-To-Recover service. The total funding will provide
support to an additional 320 people with an acquired brain injury, and includes high-level intensive support
packages, flexi-support packages, case management, secondary consultation and neuropsychological
assessments;
• an additional $2.7 million in 2008-09 ($8.4 million over four years) to build the capacity of the community
to improve access and participation of people with disabilities.
In addition the Government has also funded $23.9 million over four years for 1000 extra early childhood
intervention services packages for young children with a disability and a further $5.1 million will be invested
in the early childhood workforce to provide support for children with a disability to participate in kindergarten.
The Prime Minister recently announced funding of $100 million nationally to develop additional accommodation
and support facilities as well as an intention to direct further funds to States and Territories for additional
services. I am continuing discussions on the next Commonwealth State and Territory Disability Agreement
with my ministerial colleagues in the Commonwealth Government.
DISABILITY SECTOR EBA
I’m delighted to report that a new enterprise bargaining agreement between Victoria’s disability support
workers and the Government has been reached. It will be backdated to 1 January and run until March 2012.
The agreement will improve standards of care, pay and workforce stability and offers significant investment
in training and development, and the introduction of a qualifications allowance.
It will also move to a reduction in the use of casual staff, reducing costs and providing better continuity of care.
As I’m sure you’ll agree, this is a well deserved pay rise and reflects the Government’s appreciation of the
selfless and highly professional job disability support workers do in caring for Victorians with a disability.
These are a few of the great funding initiatives and I look forward to working with you to build on and continue
to develop community supports and services that enable people with a disability to fully participate in the
Victorian community.

Hon Lisa Neville MP


Minister for Community Services
Minister for Mental Health
Minister for Senior Victorians

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