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20 December 2017

New provider for home support and community care services in Indigo Shire

Home support and community care services in Indigo Shire will be delivered by a new provider after June next year.

The Council decided at its monthly meeting tonight to advise the Commonwealth and State governments that it will exit from the delivery of the Commonwealth and State home support and community care services from 1 July 2018.

Indigo Shire Mayor Cr Jenny O’Connor said changes at the Federal Government level had meant local government councils had to reassess their role in home support and community care services.

“Our main focus in our investigation of all the options has been our clients and our staff. The important point to make is that home support and community care services will continue to be delivered in Indigo Shire, just from a different provider from 1 July 2018,” Cr O’Connor said.

“We are doing this now to provide certainty for our clients and our staff. It is important that they know what will be happening come June next year, rather than have this drag on over the next few years. The decision also allows a new provider to establish itself in the market before the expected opening up to greater competition.”

Cr O’Connor said that significant change was occurring in the aged and disability sector, as evidenced by the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, which reflects the complete restructuring of the entire industry on a national scale.

“We have looked at this issue long and hard, working very closely with staff, the union, local providers and government departments, and the reality is that we will not be able to compete effectively or viably in the new marketplace,” she said.

“We have decided tonight to inform the Commonwealth and State that we will not continue our involvement in their home support and community care programs after 30 June 2018. We will also inform the Commonwealth and the State of our recommendation in relation to an alternative provider.

“It will be up to the Commonwealth and State to consider that recommendation and appoint a new provider to enable a transition process to commence early in the New Year.”

Cr O’Connor said there were 17 full-time equivalent positions in Council’s home support and community care services unit, involving 33 field staff working an average of 13 hours a week, and 7 office-based staff that are a combination of full and part-time.

“Recent experience with neighbouring councils that have been through this transition confirms that about 70% of home support and community care staff found new positions with the new service provider. Others chose to retire or work elsewhere.

“Indigo Shire will meet all its obligations to eligible staff with respect to entitlements.”

Cr O’Connor said most home support and community care service clients would notice little change in the delivery of services.

“We will be working with the new provider to make the transition as seamless as possible for both staff and clients,” Cr O’Connor said.


For further information:
Contact Cr Jenny O'Connor
Phone 0417 126 409