Carers Recognition Legislation Under Scrutiny
17 March 2010 at 3:09 pm
Carers Australia has welcomed the tabling of the National Carer Recognition Bill into Federal Parliament as an important first step in the introduction of a broader framework to support carers but not everyone is happy.
Carers Australia CEO Joan Hughes says the legislation is an important landmark and one that the organisation has been working towards for some time.
Hughes says that while this legislation is a valuable progression, many carers still struggle financially, find themselves socially isolated and have difficulties accessing appropriate services.
She says it is important to continue to work towards the development and implementation of more practical measures and supports.
The National Carer Recognition Bill consists of ten core principles that acknowledge the diversity of carers and identify key areas to be addressed in a national carers strategy including health and wellbeing, financial stability and employment and education participation
This legislation is one part of a broader National Carer Recognition Framework announced by Jenny Macklin, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, in October of last year.
Under this framework the government has committed to the establishment of national goals and a national carers strategy with the aim of improving policy and service delivery to better support carers.
Carers Australia says all political parties need to come together to ensure that this long awaited legislation is passed.
However, a NSW advocacy group is not so happy about the Carer’s Recognition Bill.
Carers Voice, a NSW lobby group advocating for people with disabilities and family carers says the Bill is the equivalent of Clayton’s Legislation – the legislation you have when you’re not legislating.
Maree Buckwalter, President of Carers Voice, says family carers have lobbied for legislation that gives them legal status, rights and entitlements. However she says now they have a Bill that will legislate for a pat on the back.
Buckwalter says the Bill introduced to the Parliament is a waste of time and toner, because the provisions of the Bill provide for nothing, not even legal status.