The Hon Justine Elliot MP, Minister for Ageing
The Hon Warren Snowdon MP, Member for Lingiari
Senator the Hon Trish Crossin, Senator for the Northern Territory
Indigenous workers will now fill 319 jobs in the aged and community care sector, through changes to the Community Employment Development Projects (CDEP) program.
The Australian Government - through the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) - is funding these permanent part-time jobs. These jobs comprise:
274 positions in Home and Community Care (HACC) Services; and
45 positions in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care services.
The new permanent part-time jobs in community aged care will make workers eligible for superannuation, ongoing certainty of employment and career progression.
These jobs include undertaking personal care and assistance, food preparation and delivery, transport and social support and general home care.
The latest data (2006-2007) for the HACC Program shows that nationally at least 18,000 Indigenous people accessed HACC services.
The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, said the positions would provide much-needed care to elderly Indigenous people living in Northern Territory communities.
"This funding will also provide permanent employment opportunities for Indigenous Australians, which will help make progress towards the Government's target of halving the employment gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade," Ms Macklin said.
The Australian Minister for Ageing, Mrs Justine Elliot who today visited Alice Springs said: "This is about providing community aged care services in remote communities where they are needed and creating jobs for local workers," Mrs Elliot said.
Under the previous arrangement, up to three in every four NT community aged care roles were provided through the CDEP program.
Under the new NTER Employment and Welfare Reform measures, 319 permanent part-time jobs in community care have been funded.
More than 60 communities have been funded and include: Imanpa, Papunya, Tangentyere, Ti Tree, Docker River, Elliot Creek, Hermannsburg, Apatula, Alpurrurulam,Yuendumu, Galiwinku, Ramingining, Gunbalanya, Wadeye, Daguragu, Yirrakala and Maningrida.
In addition, training for the community aged care positions will be rolled out in partnership with the Northern Territory Government's Department of Health and Families from this month.
"We will be training people in their own communities and supporting them to help older people in their own communities," Mrs Elliot said.
Four NT- based training providers have been funded to roll-out the training - HK Training and Consulting, Charles Darwin University in the Top End, Henge Education and STEPS Training in Central Australia.
Mr Warren Snowdon, Federal Member for Lingiari, said he was pleased to see employment for local people who understand the challenges of delivering quality, culturally-sensitive aged care services in remote areas.
"The Federal Government will continue to work in close consultation with Indigenous communities and the Indigenous aged care sector to improve their facilities and care."
Northern Territory Senator Trish Crossin said there was a growing need in the NT to provide basic support services at home and in the community and this program is one example of the Australian and NT governments working together to improve access to services.
"The Northern Territory has unique aged and community care challenges - remote communities and a diverse population," Ms Crossin said
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