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22 October, 2021

Councillor calls out State and Federal Government on disability care

When it comes to supporting the community, Cr Bob Whalley is adamant, residents must come first.

Cr Bob Whalley wants the State and Federal Governments to meet their commitments over the withdrawal of Anglicare from disability services

But, that does not mean the Federal and State Governments get to ignore their responsibilities, Cr Whalley said.

After disability service provider Anglicare ‘walked away’ from a group of Kilcoy residents, who had become co-dependent on each other, leaving them with nowhere local to meet, Somerset Regional Council voted to provide assistance, despite disability care not being their core expertise.

While he voted in favour of thecouncil providing support, Cr Whalley said he was ‘extremely disappointed’ the State Government had done nothing to help the Kilcoy group.

“This is a State Government responsibility. The State Government has done nothing to pick up the slack,” Cr Whalley said after the meeting.

“Because Local Government is closest to the people, it has become our short term problem.

“ALARA has stepped up and offered to keep the group together, they have a range of services, to meet their needs, the council has provided a facility in the short term, but it is not a Council responsibility.”

Cr Whalley said the council has resolved to write to the Minister, and ‘express our level of dissatisfaction’.

“This is a State responsibility, Anglicare has stepped away, the State should have stepped in.”

“We will be calling on the Minister to step up and explain, or fill the void.

“The Minister needs to explain why the State didn’t react, and what they will do in the future.”

“I‘ll fiercely debate the council spending any dollars on any facility the State Goverment should be funding.”

Cr Whalley said the council’s first obective was to ‘make sure those who are vulnerable are catered for’, and the to pressure the Minister to provide an outcome.

“This issue is made exponentially worse because of their vulnerability.”

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