Carers 'integral' to new Vic State Disability Plan

20 March, 2015

Carers Victoria CEO Caroline Mulcahy has welcomed the Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing, Martin Foley's decision to commence the consultation process for a new State Disability Plan (2017-2020).

In welcoming the Victorian Government's announcement, Mulcahy stressed the need for carers to be an integral component of the new Plan and called on the Government to involve carers, carer associations and Carers Victoria in the consultations.

"Carers perform a crucial role in society. People with disability, their families and carers must be at the heart of the new State Disability Plan (2017-2020) and the role of carers must be supported," said Mulcahy.

"Through our carer consultations we know caring can create enormous stress, exhaustion and isolation, leading to financial disadvantage when carers are unable to access paid employment.

"Caring can be a long-term undertaking, with some carers having provided care for 20 or more years. While rewarding, their role, strength and resilience can go unrecognised by government and the community.

"In fact, not only do carers provide significant informal care and support to people with disability, but primary carers are more likely to have a disability themselves."

In Australia, around one third of primary carers have a disability (37 per cent) compared with 16 per cent of people living in households who are not in a caring role.*

Carers Victoria also calls on the Victorian Government to agree to the development of a whole-of-government state-wide Victorian Carer Strategy.

"A whole-of-government state-wide Victorian Carer Strategy will set the direction for priority actions to ensure carers are respected, valued and supported, while having the same rights, choices and opportunities as other members of the community," said Mulcahy.