Community Affairs Legislation Committee
Wednesday 19 October 2011
Senator WRIGHT: Thank you for that. I have another question in relation to the Day to Day Living Program. The National Health Reform Progress and delivery report released in September reports that key National Health Reform milestone No. 4.2 is to expand the support for the Day-To-Day Living Program to meet demand for services. Funding negotiations are due to commence, I understand, with existing service providers in January 2012. Correct me if I am wrong on that.
Ms Nicholls: There are contracts in place with existing services to December 2011. We are in the process of finalising the funding allocation for the additional funds that were made available in the 2011-12 budget and we would be expecting to provide offers to services later this month or early November at the latest.
Senator WRIGHT: Thank you. How many additional people are expected to receive services via this program and when will this occur?
Ms Nicholls: The funding commences from 1 January 2012. It is anticipated that an additional 3,650 people per year would receive services, which is an additional 18,000 over five years.
Senator WRIGHT: Can you explain where that figure came from, because it is about meeting demand for services? How has demand for services been measured?
Ms Harman: We fund the program on a place basis. It is a capped program in the sense that we have a funding allocation and we understand from several years of the program now how that funding is used and how much a place costs. If you are going to ask me how much a place costs, I do not have that figure with me, but I am happy to take that on notice.
Senator WRIGHT: I would appreciate that. Thank you.
Ms Harman: We do have some historical knowledge of how the program behaves and how NGOs that we currently fund—there are about 40 of them, I understand—are actually using those monies. The $19.3 million over the next five years marks a significant expansion of that program and it will allow an additional 18,000 people, as my colleague has said, to be assisted over the next five years.
Senator WRIGHT: How will it be determined that demand is being met?
Ms Harman: It is a capped program in the sense that we do have a limited bucket of dollars. The $19.3 million, as I understand it, will go a significant way to meeting the demand the program in is currently facing. But we will have to monitor how that goes. We are also in the process, as my colleague said, of rebasing the funding so that more funding will be available for service delivery.
Senator WRIGHT: Thank you very much. Thank you, Chair.