Federal Member for Bonner, Ross Vasta said unpaid carers in his electorate would benefit from $85.6 million in additional funding for support services.

Mr Vasta said the new support services were in recognition of the important contribution unpaid carers were providing to their families, the community, and the nation.

“The Turnbull Government will provide a range of new services, including peer support, coaching, targeted financial support and crisis support, to target early-intervention and build carers’ skills,” Mr Vasta said.

“Getting help early can make a big difference to a carer’s life. It can help to reduce emotional or physical strain, assist carers to stay in work or study, take breaks from caring responsibilities, and help plan for the future. We owe a big thanks to our unpaid carers, who make significant sacrifices to support the most vulnerable in our community.”

From October 2018, carers will be able to access new supports and services through the Australian Government’s Carer Gateway website, including peer support, counselling, coaching, and educational resources.

From September 2019, the Australian Government will establish a network of Regional Delivery Partners to help carers access a range of  local services such as needs assessments, targeted financial support, information and advice, tailored counselling and coaching, and crisis support where required. 

The new services will be funded by a $250,000 family income test threshold to the Carer Allowance payment.

Minister for Social Services Dan Tehan said around 99 per cent of Carer Allowance recipients would have no change to their payment under the threshold.

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Today I rise to reflect on the enormous contribution Australia’s informal carers make to our nation. I’d also like to inform the House on how Bonner will be celebrating its local carers this National Carer’s Week.

National Carer’s Week is a time to celebrate and honour our unpaid carers. More importantly, it’s a time to raise awareness of the work carers do and the huge difference they make. There are over 2.8 million unpaid carers in Australia. The unpaid work they put in represents close to 2 billion hours a year.

Carers deserve our appreciation and support. That’s why I’m pleased to have partnered with FSG Australia to host a Carers Morning Tea in Wynnum this Friday. Carers from the Wynnum-Manly community are invited to attend. This will be a great opportunity for local carers to learn more about the support services available to them.

As one of my constituents Gillian has put it to me, it’s important to let carers know they’re not alone and that there’s help out there for them. Gillian had to give up full-time work to care for her father for five years, while also caring for her multiple handicapped son. She tells me people often struggle to understand just how difficult it is for carers in her position. 

This is why I continue to be a proud supporter of National Carers Week. The amazing contribution our unpaid carers make can’t be stated enough. I thank FSG for giving me the chance to personally acknowledge local carers and the vital role they play in our society.

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