WA congratulates Minister Butler

You couldn’t think of a better start to the day. Early this morning, Minister Butler announced a one-off HACC funding boost for WA.

By Yasmin Noone

The federal Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, won favour in Western Australia today, having announced a one-off Home and Community Care (HACC) funding boost worth more than $2.5 million.

The boost includes $120,000 for the Carers Association of WA to extend its Prepare to Care program, which supports people providing ongoing care to a family member or friend, and $521,000 to CommunityWest to develop and pilot allied health and fall-support service.

The money will also be used to fund more domestic and nursing care services for older Australians; the construction of new buildings and vehicles to support WA HACC services; and home maintenance equipment and gardening services which will help older adults stay in their homes.

CEO of Aged & Community Services WA (ACSWA), Stephen Kobelke, said the boost has been warmly received. 

“The increased funding has come at the right time and it will assist the HACC program in WA,” Mr Kobelke said. 

“It looks like more money is going out to the services that provide HACC services. That’s why this funding is a particularly good boost.

“…WA congratulates Minister Butler for making this announcement. He has been aware of the unique circumstances in WA and we congratulate him on this special package that may be a precursor to a wider industry assistance package for WA.”

The $2.5 million adds to the initial $9.6 million HACC 2010/11 funding increase, allocated by Minister Butler in May.

Mr Kobelke explained that of the original $9.6 million, $5.7 million went towards setting up the state government’s WA Metropolitan Regional Assessment Service. The rest of the money, he said, went to successful HACC providers.

“But that meant there were only 46 successful growth funding applications this year against the previous year where there were 71. So [this year], more than half the money was used by the government to set up its own assessment system and the balance went to providers.

“That’s why this [newly announced] funding is very welcome. This year, a very small amount of funding went to people providing services as the [initial HACC funding allocation] was more about providing funding to the state government for HACC infrastructure.”

HACC is jointly funded by the state and Commonwealth governments and is currently administered by the state government.

“Without Home and Community Care services many older Australians would have to move prematurely into residential care,” Minister Butler said. 

“We know that the majority of older Australians would prefer to remain in their own homes and in their community which is why we are continuing to invest in support services to enable them to live independently and lead happy, healthy and productive lives.”


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