The Liberals and Nationals have announced $6 million for a new Carers Support Group Resources Fund and a Social Enterprise Start-up Fund to improve the lives of carers and those they care for.
Speaking at the launch of Carers Week at Luna Park today, Shadow Minister for Disability, Tim Bull, said the Support Group Resources Fund will provide up to $5,000 to every carer support group statewide to be used for a range of purposes.
“We know the groups’ needs vary from community to community, in some cases communities might need to purchase resources to share amongst members, others may need to fund outings, engage a guest speaker or a variety of other needs,” Mr Bull said.
“The allocation may also be used by groups in the same or neighbouring community to pool funds for a greater need. We will look at all requests that come forward.
“In my several discussions this year with Carers Victoria, support for carer mental health and wellbeing has been at the top of the list and the Liberals and Nationals have heard this and want to offer this additional support.”
Mr Bull said the Social Enterprise Start-up Fund will provide more employment opportunities for people with a disability.
“As I travel around the state, we see some brilliant social enterprises supporting disability employment and these range from coffee shops to egg farms, to nurseries and much more in between,” Mr Bull said.
“However, one of the impediments to new social enterprises are the start-up costs. It might be the coffee machine for the café, the stock to start a nursery or some type of equipment that is needed.
“We will partner with the service provider to help them get off the ground, or in the case of an established social enterprise, to branch into a new area.
“Almost one in five Victorians live with a disability, but unfortunately only 53 per cent of those with a disability participate in the workforce, and it is a figure we need to improve.
“We can do much more and this fund will assist in getting more social enterprises operating the length and breadth of the state and in turn improve disability employment levels.”