2005/2006 Budget Bulletin by JYT808qI


									Budget Bulletin 2005/06

2005/06 Disability Budget
The past four years have seen unprecedented levels of growth funding for
disability services. In our second term, the Gallop Government continues to
deliver sustained growth funding to underpin a more inclusive and welcoming
community for all Western Australians with disabilities and their families.

The recurrent level of funding for the Disability Services Commission will have increased
from $166,852 million in 2000/01 to $288,954 million by 2008/09, up $122,102 million, or
73% since we took office.*

This Budget provides a recurrent allocation of $244.101 million, a 7.36% increase on the
previous year. A total of $13.256 million from the State and $1.726 million from the
Australian Government provides $14.982 million in growth funding for:

     134 people to receive accommodation support (with additional people
      accommodated as vacancies arise), including 25 people with significant disabilities
      who rely on carers aged
      70 years and over;
     500 families to receive respite and family support;
     130 people to receive Post School Options or Alternatives to Employment;
     670 people to access therapy support and aids and equipment; and
     250 families to access Local Area Coordination.

An additional $7.4 million will be allocated for accommodation support – one of the
highest levels of funding allocated to this area in any one year.

This includes $1.4 million, part of our pre-election commitment to support 25 people living
at home with carers aged 70 years and over. This commitment acknowledges the efforts
of older carers and their need for a break from caring and peace of mind for the future.
We will also provide an extra $6.3 million for a range of individual and family support
strategies to support people with disabilities and their families to live meaningful lives
within their local communities.

This includes an additional $600,000 recurrent for early childhood intervention services for
children with disabilities in line with our pre-election commitment to more than double the
growth funding for early intervention. This will reduce the waiting times for parents
seeking specialist disability professional support for their preschool children and allow for
more intensive levels of support during the critical early years of development.

On top of this, the State Government has signed a bilateral agreement with the Australian
Government which will see an additional $1.2 million from the Australian Government in
2005/06 to respond to the respite and related needs of carers aged
65 years and over.

* In 2008/09, the Forward Estimates provide $750,000 for Early Childhood Intervention Services. Growth funding for
other services has not yet been included. This will be subject to discussions between the Department of Treasury and
Finance and the Disability Services Commission over the next few months. These discussions and deliberations will
culminate in a recommendation to the Expenditure Review Committee during next year’s budget process.

Key Priorities
In building better lives and a more supportive community for people with disabilities and
their families, priorities for 2005/06 include the following:

1 | Individuals and Families
           An estimated 500 carers can access respite and related support – including over
            200 older carers, providing peace of mind and support in planning for the future.

           250 extra families can access the Local Area Coordination program, as we
            continue to build and maintain a strong, responsive and effective support system
            for people with disabilities and their families.

           130 extra people, including school-leavers, can access alternatives to
            employment, maintaining our commitment to ensure that all school leavers have
            access to appropriate day options.

           $250,000 additional recurrent funding is available for out-of-home respite;
            building on funding from 2004/05, a total of $500,000 will be available to
        develop additional capacity, particularly for people with challenging behaviour.

       $250,000 is available for 19 organisations statewide to run holiday respite
        programs for families of school children, including teenagers, providing an
        important break for families over the school holidays.

       $300,000 is available for community-based groups to promote family leadership
        and support carers to plan for the future.

       The Commission’s ‘learning for work’ pilot program to provide school leavers
        with skills to enter supported employment, will continue for a second year.

2 | The Early Years
       An additional $600,000 is available in 2005/06 for early childhood intervention
        services – growing to $2.7 million recurrent by 2008/09 – in recognition of the
        importance of the early years of development for young children. This
        represents an unprecedented investment to maximise the potential and future
        independence of young children with disabilities.

3 | Accommodation
       The availability of accommodation options remains a priority for people with
        disabilities, families, service providers and government alike.
        As well as providing accommodation support for 109 people in most urgent
        need, as supported by the Accommodation Blueprint, the 2005/06 Budget
        includes $1.4 million for a further 25 people who are living at home with carers
        aged 70 years and over.

       The recently established think-tank, facilitated by ACROD will help to promote
        innovation and different approaches to accommodation and community support.

4 | Governance and Sustainability
       We will continue to work to ensure the financial viability and sustainability of the
        non-government sector through a realistic rate of indexation in line with the
        State Government’s Indexation Policy for the Non-Government Human Services
        Sector. This policy remains unique across Australia. A concerted effort across the
        sector is required to help bring the Australian Government’s provision for
        indexation on a par with that of the State Government.

       In another first for human services in Western Australia, the Disability Industry
        Plan provides us with a framework for effective, sustainable and contemporary
        results into the future. More than 30 innovative strategies, designed to increase
        the inclusion and participation of people with disabilities in community life will be
        implemented over the coming year.

       In response to the Disability Industry Plan, and to fulfil our pre-election
        commitment, we will work to develop a healthy and responsive workforce to
        better meet current and future support needs.

       $300,000 is available to support the development of innovative and collaborative
        programs which enable community inclusion and service improvement, as
        recommended in the Disability Industry Plan.

       $250,000 is available for sector training grants, in response to recommendations
        from the Disability Industry Plan to improve across sector training.

       Commission-funded organisations seeking to replace modified vehicles will be
        provided with a 90% subsidy, up from the current 80% subsidy. This initiative
        will be backdated to July 2004.

5 | Safeguards
       With nearly 300 service provider and consumer representatives completing
        training on the implementation of the Ninth Standard, as of May 2005 the
        Independent Standards Monitors will assess services on the implementation of
        the new standard. Providers will have until
        30 June 2006 to fully comply with the requirements of the Ninth Standard, and
        six months from then on the issuing of any Required Actions.

       Over $150,000 is available in 2005/06 for Service Improvement Grants to assist
        providers implement the Ninth Standard, Protection of Human Rights and
        Freedom from Abuse and Neglect.

       An independent review of the efficiency and effectiveness of the current quality
        assurance and standards monitoring process will take place during 2005/06.

6 | Access and Inclusion and Community Awareness
       Stage II of the You’re Welcome WA Access Initiative will see this project
        implemented across other locations. It aims to provide people with disabilities
        with access information about local facilities and attractions. Practical
        information to assist businesses to make their services accessible is also being

       The Commission and Tourism Western Australia are forming a joint reference
        group to work to create Western Australia as Australia’s most accessible tourism
         The Commission will develop resources and provide training to State
          Government agencies and local governments to move from Disability Service
          Plans to the new Disability Access and Inclusion Plans.

         Following the successful community awareness campaign “Open Your Mind –
          Count Us In”, a resource package is being developed for school children,
          increasing their knowledge of disability and valuing difference within our school

         In addition an initiative will be implemented to raise the awareness of disability
          among the business community.

         $200,000 is available to develop community awareness materials and programs
          to complement the ‘Open Your Mind – Count Us In’ campaign. An emphasis will
          be placed on joint initiatives, in line with recommendations from the Disability
          Industry Plan.

7 | Rural and Regional Development
         $200,000 seed funding will be provided for new service delivery models in
          remote areas including the Western Desert, East Kimberley, Murchison and
          Northern Goldfields.

         Video conference facilities will be established for non-government organisations
          to improve statewide access and communication.

         Access to supports and services by Indigenous people living in regional and
          remote areas of WA will be improved.

The 2005/06 State Budget provides a significant funding base to maintain a strong and
sustainable disability services system, which is robust enough to meet increased future
demand yet sufficiently flexible to respond to individual needs. The State Government is
meeting its commitments to Western Australians with disabilities and their families and we
will continue to work in partnership with all other stakeholders to create a welcoming and
inclusive community. I see my next challenge as ensuring the Australian Government does
the same.

Bob Kucera, APM JP MLA
Minister for Disability Services

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