DISABILITY MINISTER CALLED TO ACCOUNT FOR LISMORE'S FAMILY ASSISTANCE FUNDING

Disability Minister Called to Account for Lismore’s Family Assistance Funding

Tuesday 26 June 2007

The Shadow Minister for Disability Services Andrew Constance and the Member for Lismore Thomas George have questioned in Parliament the Minister for Disability Services Kristina Keneally over Family Assistance Funding and the lack thereof for Lismore families.

The Family Assistance Fund provides small amounts of one-off funding for families to purchase services and equipment to help them care for their child with a disability at home and increase family well-being.

“On the face of it seems that families in Western Sydney had no problems getting the $2000 assistance package, yet families in Lismore missed out due to not being on the department’s books or not meeting the strident guidelines for approval,” Mr Constance said.

“What is also concerning is the efficiency of DADHC to process and assess the applications,” he said.

“I am advised that only 40 of 230 applications seeking financial assistance in Lismore were successful,” Mr Constance said.

“80% of families have missed out,” Mr Constance said.

The Member for Lismore Thomas George has met with local families who have missed out on this vital assistance.

“These families need this assistance and should not be disadvantaged by the State Government.

“We need the Minister to explain why is it that in Lismore there has been no clear dissemination of information on DADHC services that are supposedly provided, and why is it that families have only become aware of these services through word of mouth,” Mr George said.

”As there is a lack of DADHC Case Managers, and families are told that they are ineligible to apply for funding without one being assigned to them, the Minister needs to reveal if the government plans on appropriately staffing DADHC to cope with this deficiency and to provide the critical services that they are tasked with,” he said.

“I will be taking this issue up directly with the Minister and her office so that we see an approvement in the services provided families, carers and people with a disability,” Mr George said.

MEDIA: Andrew Constance 0439 311 073 or Thomas George 0427 360 781

Lismore Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403
Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Murwillumbah Contact Details:

Telephone: 02 6672 7577