June 18, 2014  |  Adjournment matter

Isla Avenue Community Respite Facility

Mr CARROLL (Niddrie) — I rise to raise a matter for the attention of the Minister for Community Services. The action I seek is for the minister to investigate the operation of the Department of Human Services respite facility located at Isla Avenue, Glenroy. By way of brief background, on 26 May I received an email from a constituent of mine, Mr Paul Greenfield, whose son Thomas stays at this respite facility. In his email to me Mr Greenfield outlined that he had recently been informed by the department that all respite at Isla Avenue Community Respite Care Facility had been cancelled until further notice. As I am sure the minister appreciates, respite care is a vital service that provides not only a much‑needed break for carers but also gives individuals like Thomas an important change in their daily routine and habits and the chance to interact with different members of the community. In fact Mr Greenfield has informed me how much his son looks forward to the respite and the opportunity to get out into the community with other children at that facility.

This sudden and unexpected cancellation of respite at Isla Avenue, Glenroy, has greatly inconvenienced not only the Greenfield family but also others who depend so much on the facility for their children. I understand a possible reason for the cancellation of respite is that the facility is needed to provide a refuge for another patient with high‑care needs. I do not know the full circumstances, and I am hoping the minister may be able to shed some light on what is happening at this facility. I have given the minister some details on the concerns at the facility earlier today. Furthermore I believe this is not the first time that respite has been suddenly cancelled at Isla Avenue. In fact I have been advised that such cancellations in the past have led to complaints being lodged with the disability services commissioner.

Mr Greenfield’s frustration was clear in his recent email to me, which states:

The issue here is that as usual we the carers come in second in every way, shape and form. The fundamental issue here is that Isla Avenue is a respite facility, not a refuge, but you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

The action I seek is for the minister to investigate the operation of the Department of Human Services respite facility located at Isla Avenue, Glenroy. I also ask that the Minister for Community Services pursue this matter immediately and ensure that these problems are addressed as soon as possible.