In-principle decision to transition from aged and disability services

Southern Grampians Shire Council has made the in-principle decision at its Council Meeting on Wednesday 10 November 2021 to transition the provision of aged and disability services to a new provider.

Southern Grampians Shire Council Mayor Bruach Colliton said there will be no immediate change to services currently delivered by Council.

“The aged and disability service industry has undergone significant change over the past decade where nationally there has been and will continue to be a dramatic increase in the demand for aged and disability services,” said Cr Colliton.

“In response to these reforms, which would require Council to substantially increase client fees and threaten the viability of Council continuing to be a provider of aged and disability care services, Council has made the in-principle decision that it’s in the best interests of our clients and community to transition this service to a new provider.

“Continuity of care is our highest priority for our clients. Aged and disability services is a Federal Government funded program and Council will work closely with the Commonwealth via an Expression of Interest to find a suitable provider that can deliver these services which include home care, personal care and meals on wheels, to the high standard we expect for our community.”

“Like many other Council’s across Victoria, Southern Grampians has had to consider the long-term sustainability of operating home support services in importantly balancing the provision of high quality care and best value for money. The Government has introduced a standard national approach where clients importantly have more control in their own care. However, these reforms mean Council’s services will be unable to adapt to meet the new requirements without significant change and cost to the community.

“We understand that this is a sensitive process for many of our residents and their families therefore the continuity of services currently being provided by Council is vital. We believe this decision will ensure the most vulnerable residents of the region continue to be offered the best possible support services now and into the future.” concluded Cr Colliton.

Southern Grampians Shire Council Interim CEO Tony Doyle said the EOI process will be underpinned by Council’s strong guiding principles to ensure services are based on the needs of the region.

“During the EOI process, providers will need to demonstrate a commitment to quality care, equity of access (regardless of geographic location), and strong safety system to protect clients and staff,” said Mr Doyle.

“If a preferred provider is identified by the EOI process, Council will confirm the in-principle decision and provide notice to the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments of their intention to relinquish contracts. The Commonwealth and Victorian Governments will then undertake their own due diligence processes and hold ultimate responsibility for appointing a new provider. A determination on Councils ongoing role will be made in March next year at the conclusion of the EOI process.”

Council will host a number of drop-in information sessions from 18 November 2021 on the Mobile Library across all townships where impacted clients and families are invited to hear more information about the process. Dates and locations are as follows:

• Glenthompson: 1:30pm – 2:30pm, 18 November 2021, Glenelg Highway (Alongside the pool)

• Mirranatwa: 3:30pm – 4:30pm, 18 November 2021, School Road (at the Hall)

• Cavendish: 10:00am – 11:00am, 25 November 2021, Barker Street (opposite the Hall)

• Dunkeld: 12:00pm – 1:30pm, 25 November 2021, Glenelg Highway (alongside the pool)

• Penshurst: 3:00pm – 4:00pm, 25 November 2021, Martin Street (Volcano Centre)

• Balmoral: 10:00am – 12:00pm, 26 November 2021, Stirling Street (Apex Park)

• Coleraine: 2:00pm – 4:30pm, 26 November 2021, Glenelg Highway (opposite the Post Office)

• Hamilton: 10:00am – 12:00pm, 19 November 2021, 5 Market Place (Martin J. Hynes Auditorium) and 2:00pm – 4:00pm, 22 November 2021, 5 Market Place (Martin J. Hynes Auditorium)

/Public Release. View in full here.