Council Re-commits To Aged And Community Care Services

Warrnambool Council

Warrnambool City Council has committed to continue services that help people live independently at home and in the community.

A decision on whether Council should remain active in the aged and disability services sector was brought before Council as a result of the Australian Government’s reforms to the Commonwealth Home Support Program, which will transition to the Support at Home program in 2027.

Warrnambool City Council is the largest provider of in-home aged care and community care services in Warrnambool through the Australian Government-funded Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP), the Victorian Government-funded Home and Community Care Program for Younger People (HACC-PYP), brokered services and services funded through the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Between 1,200 and 1,400 residents depend on these services provided by Council.

At its meeting tonight Council voted to remain involved in and to expand and diversify the range of aged and disability services.

“I think it’s an amazing outcome that we’re actually going to continue to deliver and expand services,” Mayor Cr Ben Blain said.

“I think that’s a feather in the cap for Warrnambool City Council.

“We’re already a trusted provider and we’re hoping to continue to grow that.

“We do have an ageing population and it’s critical that we continue the service.

“Also to give surety to our staff that we are committed to staying and we are committed to growing.

“Warrnambool City Council is going against the trend of other LGAs who are exiting services. We’re really giving it a stamp of confidence and we really do think that local government can do a great job of delivering these services to the community.”

To help inform the decision Council appointed Lake Advisory to undertake an independent review of its aged and disability services.

The report found Council’s involvement in home support services, for which it receives Commonwealth funding, was sustainable.

The report indicated that in 2022-23 Council delivered 62,052 hours of aged and disability services, while a market analysis found that there are no local providers that currently had the capacity to deliver the volume of services provided by Council.

Council also consulted with the community about the future of home support services.

A survey drew 448 responses from clients and community members while more than 150 clients, community members, volunteers and staff took part in focus group discussions.

The key findings from the consultation were:

• Overwhelming satisfaction with Council’s current services.

• Significant apprehension from staff, clients, carers and the community about the impact of the Commonwealth reforms on local service delivery, with fears of reduced support or changes in service providers.

/Public Release. View in full here.