28 October 2010
CARER RECOGNITION BILL 2010
Shadow Minister for Disabilities, Carers and the Voluntary Sector Senator Mitch Fifield today acknowledged the passage of the Carer Recognition Bill 2010 through the Parliament.
“The Coalition supports the sentiments expressed in the Bill,” Senator Fifield said.
“Our carers deserve recognition for the role they play in our society and acknowledgement of the time and support they give to others, often at great personal sacrifice.”
However, Senator Fifield expressed disappointment that the Bill contains no practical measures to assist carers in their role.
“Although recognition of the work of informal carers is important, the Government’s Bill is purely symbolic.”
The Bill sets out a Statement for Australia’s carers, establishing principles on how carers should be treated.
“While the sentiments expressed in the Bill are worthy, these alone won’t help carers,” Senator Fifield said.
“Carers need the Government to implement practical support.”
The Coalition has developed practical initiatives to support carers.
The Coalition’s Young Carer Scholarship Program, for example, recognises that many young carers miss out on chances to further their education, and thus risk disadvantage in comparison with their peers. The $3 million Program would provide at least 150 scholarships per year to assist young carers with the cost of their education.
The Coalition has also announced a plan to establish a Commonwealth Disability and Carer Ombudsman to provide carers a real and independent voice and policy activist within Government.
“With the Carer Recognition Bill now passed, I encourage the Government to now put their sentiment into action and introduce practical measures to provide real support and assistance to Australia’s carers.