Queenslanders with a disability in rural and remote areas will soon have more local help to access support and services, said Disability Services Minister Curtis Pitt.
Minister Pitt said four new local area coordinators (LACs) will be employed to help people with a disability find all available support networks and services in Far North Queensland communities.
“Our newest LACs will be working on the Cassowary Coast, in and around Yarrabah, in the Northern Peninsula area of Cape York and on Palm Island to help people in these communities access all available and appropriate local services,” Mr Pitt said.
“LACs work in rural and remote communities across Queensland, linking people with a disability to a range of different support networks and services, depending on individual needs and interests,” he said.
“For instance, a LAC will meet with a person with a disability and talk about their needs and goals to find out what kind of support that person wants.”
“They then talk to different community organisations, volunteer groups, social and sporting clubs, among others, to find the best ways to help clients achieve their goals and put clients in touch with these groups.
“In any given day a LAC can help a person with a disability go to the doctor, enrol in a course, find a house or just go to the movies with friends.
“LACs are there to listen and to help people with a disability achieve their dreams, as well as help those who need to get the right support and stay active in the local community.”
Mr Pitt said 53 local area coordinators were already operating successfully in many rural and regional Queensland communities.
“Last year, these local area coordinators helped 1300 individuals link to appropriate support in regions across the state including Mt Isa, Roma, Emerald, Brisbane, Gympie and Dalby,” he said.
“The Queensland Government believes in giving all Queenslanders a fair go, which is why funding for disability and community care services in Queensland has a record budget in 2011-12 of $1.775 billion.”
People with a disability, their families and carers can now find information on government supports and services at www.qld.gov.au/disability.