The Community Alliance Party values the enormous contribution that carers make to the ACT community. Few other groups work as hard for so little financial reward or social recognition. They are amongst the poorest, most disadvantaged and least supported members of our community.
Almost everyone will need care or become a carer at some time in their lives. Carers provide unpaid care and support to people with a disability, a chronic physical or mental illness, the aged, frail or terminally ill, or to someone with substance abuse issues. There are about 43,000 carers in the ACT and they save the health system more than $500 million per year. In aged care alone, family members in the home provide an estimated 95% of the necessary care.
The ACT government has focused on those needing care through expenditure on health system infrastructure, rather than on supporting carers to help them in their caring role. The Alliance will work with carers, communities and governments to develop long-term strategies to address the current and future needs of the ACT’s carers.
- The Alliance recognises that carers of all ages need more support services to reduce the emotional and financial burdens of caring, with carers choosing the type and level of support that suits their needs.
- The Alliance will ensure proper consultation with carers about all ACT Government policy changes that affect them and the people for whom they care.
- The Alliance supports greater cooperation and coordination among carer organisations rather than government-mandated economic competition.
- The Alliance supports the introduction of a National Carers' Card, with eligibility linked to the recipients’ level of need.
- The Alliance supports parking concessions for carers.
- The Alliance supports the development of multiuse community centres that build community cohesion by offering a range of socially inclusive services for all ages.
- The Alliance will lobby the Federal Government to increase investment in emergency, short-term, and long-term respite care, including day care centres for the aged and holiday programs for children with disabilities.
- The Alliance will investigate the provision of integrated supported accommodation for high dependency care so that carers can continue living with their ageing or disabled family members when they require full-time formal care.
- The Alliance believes that the ACT Government should subsidise training in the caring industry to attract and retain staff, especially in areas of growing need.
- The Alliance supports the provision of free training and peer support programs for carers so that they can help the people they care for become as independent as possible.
- The Alliance will encourage work experience and voluntary service in the caring sector.
- The Alliance believes that carers deserve assistance and support so they can maintain and update their job skills to re-enter the workforce if desired.
- The Alliance will encourage employers to provide flexible working conditions to allow carers to participate more fully in community life.