Civic Centre

Council Affirms its Commitment to the Continuing Provision of Disability and Aged Care Services

Civic Centre

At its meeting on Monday 25 March 2024, Greater Dandenong City Council considered the strategic future of its Aged Care and Disability services.

Significant reforms to the Commonwealth Government’s Aged Care Reforms have prompted many Councils to consider if they can continue to be contracted providers of these Commonwealth Services. 

Council considered a report that drew on extensive community consultation over the past eight months, expert external advice and detailed financial modelling. 

However, Council also noted that late last year, the Commonwealth had announced a significantly changed approach to the staging of the reforms. The bulk of Council’s Aged Care services, provided to the largest proportion of our clients, will transition to the new Support at Home model in July 2027, rather than July 2025 as expected. 

This phased implementation has removed the urgency from a decision about whether Council should exit some services or adapt and participate in the Support at Home Programme. 

Instead, Council decided to continue delivering its current range of services, subject to expected contract extensions with the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments.  

Council directed officers to monitor the development of the local competitive market of alternate service providers and report back to Council for consideration of whether to seek approval as a provider under the competitive market-based Support at Home Programme.  

Council also directed officers to prepare a business case and cost modelling for a new “Navigation and Support” system, to help older people navigate the aged care sector. 

Mayor of Greater Dandenong City Council, Cr Lana Formoso said the feedback from community consultation was resoundingly that clients find it difficult to understand and navigate aged care services, especially at the point they are entering a new stage of needing help. Cr Formoso said, “Council wanted to respond to this feedback, by exploring a new service to help our residents understand their options and make choices that work for them.” 

Cr Formoso thanked all the clients, staff and community members who participated in the consultation process for their thoughtful contributions. She also acknowledged Council’s aged and disability staff for their continuing service and support for the community’s elderly residents. She affirmed Council’s commitment to supporting older residents to enjoy healthy, active lives with strong social connections while living at home. 

Council will provide further updates as information becomes available and will write to clients to reassure them that there will be no imminent change to their services.