Aged and Disability Services

Published on 28 March 2019

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Statement from Murrindindi Shire Council Mayor Sandice McAulay

At its March meeting on Wednesday, Council decided to withdraw from direct delivery of Aged and Disability Services. This follows a comprehensive consultation process that began in July last year. It is important to note that there will be no changes to the delivery of our services until the end of the year.

I think I speak for all Councillors when I say this has been a very difficult decision for Councillors and one we have not taken lightly. Our aged and disability services provide significant support to our community and we know the service is highly valued.

Before making this decision, Councillors spent a lot of time considering the changes that are being imposed on local government through the Commonwealth Aged Care reforms and the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Council has thought long and hard about what Council’s role should be in light of these changes.

On balance, we believe the community’s needs are best served by Council playing a role supporting the development of a strong local service system. This will offer choice and flexibility to meet the changing needs of our community.

We know that the community values having aged and disability services provided by local service providers who have a stake in our community. The fact is that there are alternative health care providers in Murrindindi Shire that can deliver Aged and Disability services more efficiently and with greater flexibility than Council can.

Council is confident that its withdrawal from providing these services will actually help build and strengthen community-based organisations operating in our Shire. By making this decision now Council is better able to support the appointment of an alternative provider. We will also be able to assist these new providers and our clients to settle in before funding changes occur in July 2020.

The next step for Council is to recommend new providers to the Commonwealth and State governments. This recommendation will remain confidential until the Commonwealth and State Governments undertake their own assessment and announce the new provider or providers for Murrindindi Shire. 

We understand this is a big change.  We will work closely with clients and staff to ensure everyone is informed about what will happen in coming months as we transition out of the services at the end of 2019. 

I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks to the Council staff who have been a key part of the review of these services.  I would like to thank them for their professionalism and for their care and commitment to our clients. 

And to those who receive our aged and disability services, I would like to again assure you that there will be no disruption to the availability and quality of services we provide to our clients.