Minister for Disability Services Curtis Pitt has announced a funding boost for community care organisations right across Queensland to help people with disabilities or older, frail people to continue living in their own homes.

Mr Pitt said over 150 organisations would share in more than $7.8 million in Federal and State Government funding under the joint Home and Community Care (HACC) program.

“The announcement of this latest round of HACC funding is particularly significant, because this week also marks Home and Community Care Awareness Week (21-27 August)” Mr Pitt said.

Mr Pitt said the Bligh Government was committed to providing as much support as possible to help people live independently in their community.

“Most people want to live in their own home, but some frail older people and people with a disability can find this difficult without support,” he said.

“It’s important that they are supported to stay in their homes and their neighbourhood where they feel comfortable.

“These funds will allow home and community care service providers to continue to do what they do best – reach out and help people who are doing it a bit tough right now.

“There is no better opportunity than HACC Awareness Week to recognise the mighty contribution HACC workers and their organisations make to the local community.

“I commend these workers and organisations for the vital work they do in supporting people with a disability and older, frail Queenslanders – they are worth their weight in gold.”

The Home and Community Care Program is a joint Australian, State and Territory Government Initiative, administered by the Department of Communities, with Queensland Health, local councils and non-government organisations funded to provide services all over Queensland.

The HACC program provides a broad range of basic support and maintenance services each year to more than 170,000 frail older people and younger people with a disability, and their carers.

Minister for Disability Services Curtis Pitt said the HACC Program was a top priority for the government because it continued to help people avoid moving prematurely into residential care.

“In 2011-12, $523.7 million in funding will ensure the ongoing delivery of service through the program and continue to implement a range of service and sector development initiatives,” Mr Pitt said.

“The program is currently jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments – with contributions of 65 per cent and 35 per cent respectively.

“However, major HACC reforms will soon take place and the Commonwealth will accept funding and program responsibility for people aged over 65 through a national aged care system.

“The States will assume responsibility for people under 65 – and under 50 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – through a disability and community care service system.

“This is an opportunity for further improvements in the way services are to be delivered in the future, and it will allow older people and their family members to more easily understand what help is available.”

For more information about Home and Community Care in your area, visit www.health.qld.gov.au/hacc/ or phone the National Aged Care information line on 1800 200 422, the Commonwealth Carelink Centre on 1800 052 222 or speak to your doctor.