[singlepic id=333 w=320 h=240 float=left]Disability Services Minister Curtis Pitt congratulated home and community care workers at a national conference in Brisbane today on reaching a 25 year milestone in caring for Queenslanders with a disability.

Mr Pitt said around 380 non-government organisations in Queensland are reaching out with much-needed services to more than 170,000 people with a disability.

“We’re supporting their valuable services with a record $528 million this financial year. However, home and community care is not about dollars, it’s about people,” Mr Pitt said.

“People with dementia and their families and carers, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people in remote areas and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples all rely on home and community care services.

Minister Pitt said one of the Bligh Government’s highest priorities is to close the gap on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage.

“In a first for Queensland, we will host a home and community care state-wide gathering later this year to bring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations together.

“The gathering will be an opportunity to solve problems and share stories about what works and what could work better,” he said.

Mr Pitt also told delegates at today’s national conference that the Federal Government’s proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme is an historic opportunity to bring about real change for people with a disability, their families and carers.

“I have established a working party of key stakeholders so that we get our response right and put the best case to Canberra to extract the best deal for Queenslanders.

“Ageing carers in particular need to know that their son or daughter, nephew or niece will be looked after when they are gone. For them, nothing is more important than that,” he said.

“Disability can happen to anyone, anywhere, any time. These proposed reforms have real potential to bring about significant change. They encourage choice so that people can select a service provider that best suits their needs.

The Minister is encouraging Queenslanders to have their say on the proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme by emailing: disability-support@pc.gov.au

Media Inquiries: Minister’s Office 3237 9867