Communities and Social Inclusion Minister Zoe Bettison says South Australian carers will not be left behind as the Commonwealth moves disability and aged care funding to individualised care packages.

The State Government has announced it will continue to fund both the Community Passenger Network and the Carer Support Network SA until 2020.

Ms Bettison said this will ensure services that support carers continue as the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Commonwealth aged care reforms are rolled out.

This means the Carer Support Network SA will receive $6.2 million over two years to provide respite care, support and advocacy for carers.

Likewise, the Community Passenger Network will continue to receive combined State and Commonwealth funding of $2.9 million annually to run 15 outlets across South Australia that provide vital transport services for vulnerable South Australians.

Ms Bettison said South Australian carers provide an incalculable contribution to the lives of older South Australians and people living with disability and that the State Government will continue to support them to support their loved ones.

Background

There are about 245,000 unpaid carers in South Australia, and it is estimated their enormous support is worth more than $5 billion.

Almost one-third of carers provide more than 40 hours of care per week.

Many provide care and support for a relative or friend who is aged or has a disability, mental illness or a chronic or terminal illness. Most people will either be a carer or require care at some point in their lives.

Quotes attributable to Communities and Social Inclusion Minister Zoe Bettison

At a time of significant national transition and change through NDIS and Consumer Directed Care, the Commonwealth and State Governments are working together to reform the aged care and disability services sectors.

The South Australian Government recognises the valuable work of the carer support services sector and the need for a continued viable sector for this important support to be provided to the carers in our community.

I am very pleased to advise that I have approved the continuation of South Australian carer specific funding until 30 June 2020 to the South Australian services.

This funding extension will assist you in the future planning of the provision of carer specific services in South Australia.

Quotes attributable to Carers SA Chief Executive Officer David Militz

We are ecstatic that Minister Bettison has recognised the vital role that carers play in the community by continuing funding for the Carer Support Network SA until June 2020.

The contribution of South Australia’s 245,000 carers equates to 64 million hours of support a year. If we were to replace this support with paid workers it would cost the community $5 billion.