Changes to aged and disability services

Published on 03 February 2020

Horsham Rural City Council (HRCC), as a result of a resolution at its January 28 Meeting, is proposing to withdraw from delivering aged and disability services.

Council will now undertake an expression of interest process to find a suitable provider to deliver services including home care, respite, personal care, meals on wheels and social support.

Mayor Mark Radford said services available to the municipality would not be reduced.

“Services will continue to be provided, however it may not be delivered by Council,” Cr Radford said.

“This has been a difficult decision for our Councillors and one we have not taken lightly.

“Our aged and disability services provide significant support to our community and we know the service is highly valued.

“There have, however, been a number of reforms in the aged and disability service sector. It is now understood Council will not be able into the future compete in the changing marketplace.

“It is understood that the new funding model is better suited to be operated by services independent from Local Government.

“A number of other Councils in Victoria are going through or have gone through a similar process,” he said.  

A further report will be provided to Council in relation to any proposed new Home Support Service provider following the Expression of Interest process.  If a suitable provider can be found, Council may decide to exit the service.

“We will then make a recommendation to the Commonwealth Government and State Governments of our preferred provider,” Cr Radford said.

“They are the final decision-makers, Council is only able to provide a recommendation. Council however has a genuine interest in ensuring that a high-quality and reliable provider is appointed.

“The service levels established by our long serving staff must continue,” he said.

“Council understands this is a big change,” Cr Radford said.

“We will work closely with staff and clients to ensure everyone is informed about the proposal and the process under way.

“To our community members who access our aged or disability services, I would like to assure you that our focus is to maintain the availability and quality of the services we provide.”

Irrespective of the outcome in relation to provision Home Support Services in the future, HRCC will continue its strategic planning and advocacy roles in the aged and disability sector to ensure the community has access to quality services.