13 June 2023

Mr NEUMANN (Blair) (16:04): Ipswich is Queensland's fastest-growing region, with a population expected to more than double in the next 20 years, to 530,000 people. That's why I was pleased to secure a 2022 election commitment to roll out a $14 million Ipswich based Head to Health adult mental health service, and I'm proud that the Albanese Labor government is delivering on this via the Darling Downs and West Moreton Primary Health Network. Recently, mental health service provider Open Minds was selected to deliver this service in Ipswich and Neami National was selected to deliver a national phone service, which includes the Ipswich region. The new Ipswich based Head to Health will make it easier for individuals, families and carers to access mental health and wellbeing support and alcohol and drug support so no-one is left behind.

This vital service builds on an election commitment to roll out a new Medicare urgent care clinic for Ipswich. The Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN is currently undertaking an expression-of-interest process to select a health service provider to deliver this much-needed facility. I know it's a very high priority for the PHN, and I expect to see the new clinic up and running from 2023-24. This would help take pressure off the emergency department at Ipswich Hospital and improve access to health care for people across the Blair electorate.

Finally, our government inherited an aged-care system in crisis and in neglect. Amongst other things, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety found that the aged-care system was complex and difficult to navigate and it recommended more support for older people to help them access services. Last week I helped to launch a new care finder service for the Ipswich region, to be delivered by ADA Australia. It's a $5.7 million commitment over 2½ years—again, funded through the Darling Downs and West Moreton Primary Health Network. The government established the care finder program in response to the royal commission to provide support for vulnerable older people and to help them access aged care, as well as health, housing, disability and other community services. It's an excellent practical initiative and is another example of how we're determined to reform the aged-care sector, make the system easier to navigate for consumers and ensure our most vulnerable people are treated with the dignity they deserve.

The care finder program has been established as part of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. It's going to help those in need in the following ways. It will help them to understand the support that will help them, to set up an aged-care assessment if they need one, to fill in forms if they need to and to find and set up services. It is much-needed help for those people who would fall through the cracks—those people who don't have family to support them, who have difficulty with communication or computer literacy or who just can't understand what they're doing. Thank you to the PHN.