17 October 2016

Australia’s 2.8 million unpaid carers work tirelessly every day to care for children with additional needs, sick or elderly family members and people with a disability.

Federal member for Blair Shayne Neumann said that National Carers Week starting today is a great opportunity to celebrate their extraordinary contribution and thank them for all that they do.

“Over 5,200 unpaid carers living in Ipswich and the Somerset Region are the unsung heroes of our community,” Mr Neumann said.

“Carers make an important contribution to our community and economy, with their work valued at $60.3 billion each year across Australia.

“Many of those carers are women, while a growing number are aged 15-24 years and they make incredible personal and financial sacrifices to undertake these roles.

“I want to acknowledge the fantastic contribution our carers make to this local community.

“Unfortunately, the Liberal Government has carers within its sights for cuts.”

The Liberal Government launched an unprecedented attack on carers, attempting to slash the indexation arrangement for the Carer Payment, in the 2014 horror budget.

Labor stood side by side with carers to block the Liberal Government’s unfair Carer Payment and pension cuts in the Senate.

Mr Neumann warned the battle is not over and the Social Services Minister has flagged that payments to carers could be cut.

“There is a review is being undertaken into the eligibility for the Carers Payment.

“Mr Porter should be honest with the Carer Payment recipients and say where the review is up to.

“Is he planning to cut the Carer Payment or push people off the payment entirely?

“I’m concerned that the Turnbull Government will use the review to reduce eligibility for these important income supports for carers.”

Most recently the Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter, failed to articulate what additional supports and services his new ‘investment approach’ would provide to young carers.

“Our carers deserve better.”

Mr Neumann said his annual Blair Disability Links expo would highlight services and support available to carers.

The expo is on Friday 2 December 2016 from 10am to 2pm at the Brassall Shopping Centre.

For more information contact Mr Neumann’s office on 3201 5300.