[singlepic id=345 w=320 h=240 float=left] Elderly people and people with a disability will be able to continue to lead active lives with a brand new fleet of cars, buses and people movers destined for local home and community care organisations across Queensland.

Minister for Disability Services, Curtis Pitt, said community organisations across the state would share in more than $6.5 million to help them buy new vehicles.

“These funds are important. Without support to get out and about in their local community, many elderly people and people with a disability could end up in residential care instead of in their own home,” Mr Pitt said.

“With the new people movers, buses and 4WDs they’ll have the support they need to venture out and about, whether it’s for shopping, banking or outings to a day centre to catch up with friends,” Mr Pitt said.

“It means they can continue to stay in their home and continue to play an active role in their local community,” he said.

Mr Pitt announced the new funds in Redlynch today with the Member for Barron River, Steve Wettenhall.

“More than $1 million has been set aside for 11 community care organisations in the far north,” Mr Pitt said.

“St John’s Community Care here in Redlynch will receive three new people movers. It’s going to make a world of difference to their clients,” he said.

Mr Wettenhall commended staff at St John’s for their dedication and care in looking after people with a disability, their families and carers.

“I’m delighted our government has been able to deliver more than $138,000 towards three new people movers. It means more than respite care – it means independence,” Mr Wettenhall said.

“Sometimes, a simple visit from a carer can lift the spirits of an elderly person or someone with a disability. They know they’re not alone – that someone cares,” he said.

Mr Wettenhall said the new fleet of buses, people movers and 4WDs would strengthen the community spirit of elderly people and people with a disability in the far north.

“It’s about keeping elderly people and people with a disability connected to their local community. There are few things more important than that,” Mr Wettenhall said.

“Most people want to live in their own home and that’s where home and community care workers play a very important role.

“They can help elderly people and people with a disability by giving them a hand with everyday tasks around the home, such as showering and house-cleaning,” he said.

Minister Pitt said the 13 new vehicles for community organisations in the far north would help community care workers help others,” he said.

“Our local community care workers are the salt of the earth. They’re helping to make life that little bit easier for elderly people and people with a disability and for that we owe them a debt of gratitude,” Mr Pitt said.

The new vehicles have been funded under the Home and Community Care program, a joint Federal and State Government program that provides support for elderly people and people with a disability to remain living at home.

Media Inquiries: Minister’s Office 3237 9867