The ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS) has welcomed the introduction of legislation to the ACT Legislative Assembly that will strengthen support for the many tens of thousands of Canberrans who provide unpaid care to family members or friends who need support because of disability, chronic illness, mental illness, drug or alcohol issues, dementia or frailty due to ageing.
The Carers Recognition Bill 2021, introduced today by Suzanne Orr MLA, aims to recognise, promote and value the role that unpaid carers have within the ACT community. The Bill includes measures to encourage the adaption of business practices to facilitate the care relationship that exists between carers and the people they care for, and the creation of additional support for carers.
ACTCOSS CEO, Dr Emma Campbell said: “We welcome measures to recognise the extent of unpaid work carried out by carers and the huge contribution that carers make to the ACT community.
“Carers play a vital role supporting those who need care. The work of carers is too often unrecognised and carers themselves frequently do not receive the support they need to carry out their caring responsibilities or to look after themselves.
“There is much more that workplaces, organisations, government – the Canberra community – can do to ensure that people in caring roles are supported.
“We welcome the consultative approach taken by Ms Orr in the development of the Bill to ensure the rights of various parties in care relationships are protected.
“The introduction of the Bill is also a tribute to advocacy by carers, especially Carers ACT, who have campaigned on this issue for a number of years.
“ACTCOSS support the Carers Recognition Bill. However, we also need to ensure that the principles and good intentions for carers are backed up by real action, including the provision of long-awaited funding for the ACT Government’s ACT Carers Strategy,” Dr Campbell concluded.
For more information or comment, please contact
Dr Emma Campbell, CEO, ACTCOSS, on 0424 910 617 or 02 6202 7200.