Specialist Disability Housing a possibility for Longreach

Outback Independent Living will be meeting with SDA Queensland in Longreach at 1pm on Saturday 26th June at the Desert Channels Resource Centre. PHOTO: Supplied

The withdrawal of services from organisations likeBluecare and the reduction in respite allocations in aged care and disability facilitieshas meant community members with disabilities and their carers have had toleave their home communities to seek support in bigger centres.

This may be about to change with a funded not-for-profit,Specialist Disability Accommodation Queensland (SDA), seriously looking at theconstruction of independent living accommodation in Longreach and possibly inother centres in the Central West.

This will mean jobs in construction, maintenance anddisability care.

The possible recommencement of this service will meanskilled personnel impacted by the withdrawal of services may again have anopportunity for work opened to them in this specialist field.

The move to bring back service providers to invest in theWest comes from the drive of not-for-profit group Outback Independent Livingbased in Longreach.

Following negotiations between Outback Independent Livingand support providers a Specialist Disability Accommodation group has made anapproach expressing an interest in supplying accommodation and will be visitingin late June.

Outback Independent Living Secretary, Leanne Kohler, sayssince the inauguration of the not for profit organization in 2019, interest hasbeen sought from potential care providers supplying services under NDIS.

“Our communities have suffered with the withdrawal ofsupport services, however we have received expressions of interest from Ubuntu andSouthern Cross Support Services.

“Ubuntu in particular seems keen in offeringservices to Western Queensland, and to work with the community to establish thesupport services the community needs” said Ms Kohler.

Ubuntu are new service providers on the scene,but offer flexibility that the more established service providers are not ableto provide, as their business framework is already well established.

Support services such as these will complement existingservices.

Ms Kohler says the committee has had two years offrustration, going round in circles trying to gain the much needed support fromgovernment.

The community group has been fundraising for almost 2years to raise money for the much needed Business Plan required by Government.

The Community has been exceedingly generousand supportive of our fundraising efforts said Ms Kohler.

$50,000 for the much needed Business Plan isa small ask of Government, for the big gap in care that the committee is tryingto fill.

Ms Kohler said she has found that vulnerable communitymembers in the Central West cannot rely on mayors, CEOs, politicians orgovernment ministers to make traction, the wheels of Government turn slowly andway too slowly for some of our regions most vulnerable, who have pressing needsNOW.

“In spite of the Commonwealth Government’s investment ofmore than $20 billion in NDIS, it seems the vulnerable people of outbackQueensland have slipped through the cracks in the support floor.”

While it is yet to be confirmed, the interest by serviceproviders such as Ubuntu could bring the promise of a better future to thevulnerable people of the West while providing jobs and careers for localworkers.

Outback Independent Living will be meeting with SDAQueensland in Longreach at 1pm on Saturday 26th June at the Desert ChannelsResource Centre.

All members of thecommunity are welcome to attend the meeting.

This is an opportunity for people with disabilities or those carers whocan advocate on their behalf to have input and express their needs. Everyonehas the right to a voice and to be heard Ms Kohler said.