A two-year extension of the Commonwealth Home Support Program, which is the prime funding source for transport services for older Australians, was announced in last month’s 2017- 2018 Budget.
The budget also provided good news for NDIS participants, with continued funding for the NDIS being provided through a 0.5% increase in the Medicare levy.
With the NDIS being rolled out across Australia, there have been numerous reports of under funding of transport in NDIS packages, with transport being highlighted as a major issue. The lack of access to transport contributes significantly to the reduction of people with disability accessing much needed transport to and from services and supports.
Transport is an enabling service that assists people with disability and older Australians to connect to their communities. There is great hope that these budget inclusions will ensure people’s transport needs are placed as a high priority, and that people can continue to enjoy their lives the way they choose.
Treasurer Scott Morrison also announced a commitment of $80 million for Australians with mental illness, severe depression, eating disorders, schizophrenia, and post-natal depression resulting in psycho-social disability, including those who have been at risk of losing their supports or services due to the transition of the NDIS.
This budget also provides $33 million to ensure NDIS participants and older Australians requiring aged care services can access quality services in their local area. The Local Care Workforce Package will increase the number of local workers available to meet the demand from new entrants into the NDIS, as well as preparing for an influx of care needed because of the nation’s ageing population.