26 September 2023




Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann has paid tribute to Ipswich and Somerset Region disability accommodation providers in a speech at a major conference today.

Mr Neumann was speaking at the Supported Accommodation Providers Association (SAPA) Queensland Conference “Beyond Homes” in Brisbane, and used his opening address to highlight the importance of the sector and thank providers for their vital work supporting the housing needs of people with disability.

He said supported accommodation “group homes” were vital for many in our community to live with dignity and a level of independence while receiving appropriate support.

“I want to thank the Supported Accommodation Providers Association (SAPA), and especially SAPA Secretary Grant Kelly for inviting me to open the conference.

“I know Grant and his daughter Cheryn do amazing work with many disadvantaged clients at Assisted Living accommodation provider Christine Court in North Booval.

“More than just accommodation, these services provide love, friendship and community for vulnerable people, not all of whom qualify for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Mr Neumann also praised the work of SAPA members Tony and Tanya Sherlock from Tarampa Assist, which is based in Lowood, and provides supported accommodation and NDIS services across the Somerset Region, Ipswich and Brisbane.  

“In addition, Peter Tully from DCA Mentoring Supports has been a tireless advocate for people with disability in the Ipswich community and I have been proud to work with him on projects like my Disability Links directory, which I publish every year.  

Mr Neumann said that the supported accommodation sector contributed to the Federal and State Governments’ objectives of achieving better housing and living outcomes for vulnerable Australians.

“It’s absolutely critical for delivering greater inclusion for people with disability and others who need assistance.

“The Albanese Labor Government is committed to driving improvements for people living in supported accommodation and the sector as a whole,” Mr Neumann said. 

Mr Neumann noted that current issues around housing and rental affordability had a disproportionate impact on people with disability, particularly those with high support needs, or those on fixed or low incomes.

“The Albanese Government is committed to delivering more social and affordable rental housing, including in our region, through our $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund, which has just passed the Parliament.

“And we are developing a new National Housing and Homelessness Plan to identify the short, medium and long-term steps that can be taken to address housing access and affordability issues in Australia, including for people with disability.”  

The conference agenda included sessions on challenges and opportunities for the sector, preferred care models and financial sustainability, and a range of speakers, including from the Queensland Department of Child Safety, Seniors and Disability Services, and the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA).