Sheila McHale

Sheila McHale

Minister for Disability Services; Tourism; Culture and the Arts; Consumer Protection

    New funding to help people with disabilities

    9/05/2008 12:00 AM

    Western Australians with disabilities, their families and carers will receive additional support in the 2008-09 State Budget.


    Disability Services Minister Sheila McHale said the Budget provided $325.4million recurrent funding for disability services - an increase of $19.6million, or 6.4 per cent on last year’s allocation.


    “This is a doubling of the recurrent level of State funding for people with disabilities since the State Labor Government took office in 2000-01,” Ms McHale said.


    The Minister said $17.5million in recurrent growth funding, (including $1.4million from the Commonwealth Government), would provide extra support for people with disabilities, families and carers.


    “Accommodation support remains a key priority for 2008-09 with an extra $7.3million recurrent for accommodation support for 121 people,” she said.


    “As well, a further $2.8million recurrent provided jointly by the State and Commonwealth Governments will be used for more appropriate accommodation for an anticipated 12 young people currently in aged care nursing homes or at risk of being admitted to a nursing home.”


    Ms McHale said that as 87 per cent of support for people with disabilities came from family and friends, more than $7million recurrent funding was earmarked for a range of individual, family and carer support strategies. This included:

    • $2.2million for additional respite and family and carer support;
    • $1.8million for additional options for school-leavers or people who needed alternatives to employment;
    • $2.3million recurrent for disability professional services and additional equipment; and
    • $700,000 to increase access for families & carers to Local Area Coordination and to support the development of a range of low-cost community-based accommodation options.

    “There will also be an increased focus on addressing the needs of older carers and of people who experience challenging behaviours, as well as responding to individual needs more effectively through more flexible carer and family support options,” the Minister said. 


    Further initiatives included:

    ·         $150,000 recurrent to support young carers and siblings of people with disabilities;

    ·         $285,000 recurrent for the successful Western Australian Companion Card scheme in line with Commonwealth plans for a national scheme; and

    ·         one-off funding of $750,000 for equipment and technology grants to enhance the independence of people with disabilities and their carers.


    Ms McHale said the disability sector faced a number of challenges as demand for services continued to grow.


    “Our priorities over the next 12 months include securing the most beneficial funding agreement we can achieve with the Commonwealth for disability services and developing a 15-year plan for disability,” she said.


    “We continue to address pressing issues including securing and maintaining a stable workforce and meeting the complex and changing needs of ageing people with disabilities.”


    Minister's office - 9213 6900