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    LABOR COMMITS FUNDING TO DEMENTIA CARE TRIALS

    A Shorten Labor Government will fund a trial of respite care on the Central Coast specifically for people living with dementia and their carers.

    Labor’s $10 million commitment will enable Alzheimer’s Australia and the University of Wollongong to trial models of respite care and to monitor and evaluate which methods are most effective across selected regions, including the Central Coast.

    Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Senator Katy Gallagher, and Labor candidate for Dobell, Emma McBride said the Central Coast has been chosen as one of the trial regions.

    “Appropriate support for the more than 1.2 million carers is a critical factor in dementia treatment, which allows 70 per cent of people living with dementia to live at home and in the community,” Senator Gallagher said.  

    More than nine in 10 people with dementia living in the community do so with informal carer support. A recent Alzheimer’s Australia survey of consumers revealed limited respite care was identified as the top area of support that needed to be addressed.

    “More than half of primary carers of people living with dementia at home have indicated they need more support, and the greatest single unmet area of demand is for respite care,” Senator Gallagher said.

    “This program will make a real difference for families living with dementia, the trial aims to give people living with dementia and their families greater capacity to choose how, when and who delivers their care-offering them more flexible respite and support.”

    “Respite care not only provides a much needed break for carers but more importantly provides an opportunity for social engagement for people with dementia” Ms McBride said.

    Senator Gallagher said Labor’s policy would address the shortage of respite services specifically designed to support people living with dementia.

    “The trial will evaluate a range of care models, while at the same time providing a significant increase in the supply of respite places for carers and patients on the Coast,” Ms McBride said.

    “These trials will specifically target dementia respite services for harder-to-reach groups such as people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, the LGBTI community and veterans.”

    This is part of Labor’s $25 million commitment to a National Dementia Strategy.

    Senator Katy Gallagher is Labor's Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness and the Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader on State and Territory Relations.

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    MALCOLM TURNBULL AND SUSSAN LEY AT ODDS OVER HEADSPACE FUNDING

    Sussan Ley has confirmed that 95 headspace centres across Australia have just two years of funding left before they will be put out to tender by the Turnbull Government.

    Sussan Ley confirmed in a statement that the Turnbull Government will only guarantee $200 million of funding for headspace which is due to expire on 30 June 2018.

    The Minister is already on the record that headspaces around the country will have to compete with other providers for funding through Primary Health Networks after 2018.

    The Minister’s comments are in conflict with the Prime Minister, who said yesterday that:

    “Can I say that the Headspace services will continue to receive support. There is about 100 of them now and more will open and they will continue to have the same level of support into the future” - Malcolm Turnbull. Doorstop Sunday June 19, 2016.

    The Health Minister’s statements make it very clear that there is no guaranteed support for headspace beyond June 2018, despite what the Prime Minister has said.

    Headspace has been evaluated twice and has been found to be a high quality and effective intervention for young people with mental health concerns.

    A Shorten Labor Government supports a nationally consistent model to support young people and will provide the certainty needed to ensure young people with mental illness have access to headspace and early psychosis centres across Australia.

    **For 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au. Other services include Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467, Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636 **

    MONDAY, 20 JUNE 2016.

    Senator Katy Gallagher is Labor's Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness and the Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader on State and Territory Relations.

     
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    MORE DETAIL NEEDED ON TURNBULL’S BACKFLIP ON HEADSPACE AND EARLY PSYCHOSIS

    Last night on Q&A the Prime Minister publically overruled his Health Minister by agreeing to protect headspace centres and to restore funding to early psychosis centres exposing deep divisions between the Prime Minister and his Health Minister.  

    Prior to the Prime Minister’s intervention, early psychosis centres were due to be closed permanently in South Australia; other centres were facing funding cuts of 25 per cent growing to 70 per cent before being wound down completely in 2018; and headspace centres were going to be put out to competitive tender.

    With just two weeks until the cuts were to kick in, and with the Prime Minister’s new commitment to supporting headspace into the future and keeping the early psychosis centres open, the Government must immediately provide a guarantee in writing about what the new arrangements will be.

    The latest backflip by the Prime Minister is in direct conflict with the Health Minister who has spent months defending her decision to close early psychosis centres and make headspace centres contestable.

    The Health Minister confirmed this in person to headspace managers during a speech earlier this year and letters from the Department of Health confirmed the impending closure of the early psychosis centres as recently as two weeks ago.

    It’s very clear that the Health Minister was left in the dark about the Prime Minister decision with her own media statement just three days ago confirming that the Turnbull Government’s previous position.

    The backflip from Malcolm Turnbull is welcome news for the thousands of young people with mental health problems who rely on these services and for the dedicated staff who support them.  

    After months of uncertainty for headspace centres and with early psychosis centres already planning to wind down or close their operations there can be no more delays.

    The young people who rely on these services deserve nothing less but certainty going forward.

    TUESDAY, 21 JUNE 2016

    Senator Katy Gallagher is Labor's Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness and the Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader on State and Territory Relations.

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    LABOR WILL MAKE HOUSING MORE AFFORDABLE AND WORK TO REDUCE HOMELESSNESS

    A Shorten Labor Government will provide the national leadership required to address housing affordability and take serious action to reduce homelessness.

    For too many Australians, the dream of home ownership remains out of reach while for many others high housing costs are taking up more than a third of their incomes, with more than 850,000 households living in housing stress. 

    There are as many as 105,000 people who are homeless on any given night of the year.

    At a time when more people are experiencing housing stress and the rates of homelessness remain high, we cannot continue to stand by and adopt a “business as usual” approach.

    Labor will develop a national affordable housing strategy to drive the development of an agreed, coordinated approach to addressing housing affordability in Australia.

    A Shorten Labor Government will also:

    • Appoint a Minister for Housing and Homelessness.
    • Make housing affordability a standing item on the COAG agenda.
    • Include a more comprehensive coverage of housing as part of the Closing the Gap report.
    • Develop an Affordable Housing Industry Plan to ensure the long-term development of a sustainable affordable housing sector.
    • Re-establish the National Housing Supply Council.
    • Investigate the development of national rental standards.

    A Shorten Labor Government, in partnership with State and Territories, will:

    • Aim to halve homelessness by 2025.
    • Agree on national targets to increase the supply of affordable housing dwellings.
    • Report annually through COAG on progress towards the targets. 

    Labor wants to work with homelessness services to deliver long-term certainty for the sector and will begin this important work by immediately hosting a national roundtable on homelessness and a meeting of State and Territory Housing and Homelessness Ministers.

    Labor will also provide $88 million over two years for a new Safe Housing program, to improve transitional housing options for women and children fleeing domestic and family violence.

    We will also include more comprehensive coverage of housing in the Closing the Gap report, in recognition of the importance of housing to achieving the Closing the Gap health, education and employment targets.

    From 1 July 2017, Labor will limit negative gearing to new property.

    This is a significant policy that will provide an incentive for new construction and add thousands of jobs to the building industry.

    Labor seeks to level the playing field, particularly for first home buyers and will fully grandfather and preserve the tax offsets that are currently available to existing property owners.

    Too often, discussions on affordable housing concentrate on home ownership – yet, over 30 per cent of all households are renters. 

    It’s important that governments ensure that the needs of renting households are reviewed in light of the changes in the housing market over time.

    Labor will ensure that the needs of renting households are considered within the national strategy on affordable housing.

    A Shorten Labor Government will work with the States and Territories to reach agreement on a set of national minimum rental standards. Labor will commission work to examine:

    • Rental contract lengths.
    • Fair processes where landlords seek termination.
    • Ways to provide greater freedom of choice for tenants.

    A Shorten Labor Government will also provide a one-off establishment grant of $3 million to Homes4Homes (H4H) - a social enterprise by The Big Issue, looking to raise capital funds to invest back into affordable housing supply.  

    While Malcolm Turnbull gives tax cuts to the big end of town, Labor is working to help those in our community who need it most.

    Labor’s positive plan for affordable housing and to reduce homelessness will put people first.

    http://www.100positivepolicies.org.au/a_national_affordable_housing_strategy_fact_sheet

    THURSDAY, 16 JUNE 2016 

    Senator Katy Gallagher is Labor's Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness and the Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader on State and Territory Relations.

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    LABOR TO FUND YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH SERVICE FOR MONASH

    A Shorten Labor Government would provide essential funds to help build Monash’s first youth mental health service to ensure young people are able to get professional help at an early stage of their mental illness.

    Labor’s commitment of $2 million will help the Monash community – which has one of Melbourne’s highest youth populations – but currently has no dedicated youth mental health service.

    Early intervention in mental health provides the best chance of recovery and also minimises the cost to the health system by preventing more expensive treatments in the hospital system down the track.

    Demand for services in this area of Melbourne is high but young people either have to travel longer distances from home to access help or wait hours to be seen at already busy services in neighbouring suburbs.

    Link Health in Monash has committed significant funds to get this service off the ground and Labor’s contribution will play a role in seeing a purpose built facility on Haughton Road, Oakleigh, become a reality.

    “I congratulate the Labor candidate for Chisholm, Stefanie Perri, for her sustained advocacy of this centre and her success in securing funding for this important service in Monash,” Senator Gallagher said.

    “When I visited Link Health earlier this year, I was impressed by the passion of the hard working health professionals and their desire to help even more young people living with mental health conditions.  Their dedication made it an easy decision to provide this funding to help get this project off the ground.”

    “If we are to see young people utilise mental health services, we need to make the services accessible and appealing while remaining close to young people’s homes and schools,” Stefanie Perri said.

    “That is exactly what Link Health will provide and I am so pleased to see this project, one which I have advocated for both in my role as a Mayor of Monash Council and as the Labor candidate for Chisholm, get the tick of approval,” Stefanie Perri said.

    MONDAY, 6 JUNE 2016

    Senator Katy Gallagher is Labor's Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness and the Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader on State and Territory Relations.

    This is a joint release with Labor's candidate for the seat of Chisholm Stefanie Perri.

     

     

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    PM MUST GIVE GUARANTEE TO HEADSPACE CENTRES ACROSS AUSTRALIA

    Malcolm Turnbull today opened a new headspace in Bondi while his government is refusing to offer funding certainty for existing headspace centres beyond 2018. 

    Under Turnbull’s Liberals, headspace has been given a two-year shelf life and told they will not be guaranteed funding beyond 2018.

    Over the past 10 years, headspace has helped more than 225,000 young people with mental illness and provided more than 1.5 million occasions of service either through face-to-face consultations or via telephone and online services.

    In April, the Minister for Health informed all headspace centres beyond 2018 Primary Health Networks would be required to tender for services currently provided by headspace.

    This decision by the Turnbull Government puts the internationally renowned national youth mental health model at risk. 

    The Prime Minister and the Health Minister have questions to answer:

    1.    Can the Prime Minister guarantee Bondi headspace will be open in 2018 after it is put out to tender 

    2.    Why does the Turnbull Government want to dismantle a world best practice model for young people with a mental illness? 

    Labor strongly supports the headspace model and a Shorten Labor Government will provide the funding certainty needed to ensure headspace centres remain open in the more than 95 locations across the country where they have been established. 

    Labor has also committed to keeping the early psychosis program in place and will ensure that youth mental health services remain a national priority.

    Senator Katy Gallagher is Labor's Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness and the Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader on State and Territory Relations.

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    VALE ROMALDO GIURGOLA

    It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of Romaldo ‘Aldo’ Giurgola, the renowned architect who designed Australia’s new Parliament House.

    In so doing he made a profound contribution to our national identity.

    Aldo, then a Columbia University academic, turned down an offer to judge the design competition because he wanted to enter himself.

    In 1980, he won from a field of 328 entrants from 28 countries.

    His design for Parliament House stayed true to Walter Burley Griffin’s vision of Australia’s capital as a complement to humanity and the landscape.

    Aldo didn’t want a monument. He placed his building under a modest hill and called it a nest for the people’s Parliament.

    Parliament House is a love letter to Australian democracy, designed so any citizen could walk across its grassy flanks. Every room is filled with daylight.

    Aldo designed Parliament House to last 200 years. He wanted it to have room for people and functions not yet dreamed of.

    While Aldo described Parliament House as his crowning achievement, it was not his only contribution to Canberra – he also designed St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Charnwood.

    It is a privilege to work in Parliament House and represent Canberrans.

    This building holds a special place in the hearts of Canberrans but also in the hearts of Australians who visit it every year.

    Aldo Giurgola may have passed, but we in the nation’s capital will always remember his legacy and contribution to our city and country.

    In 2005, a journalist asked Aldo how he would like his epitaph to read. “He was an architect,” he began, then paused. “That’s enough.”

    Senator Katy Gallagher is Labor's Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness and the Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader on State and Territory Relations.

    This is a joint release with Andrew Leigh MP (Fenner) and Gai Brodtmann MP (Canberra).

     

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    VULNERABLE YOUNG SOUTH AUSTRALIANS THE TARGET OF TURNBULL’S LATEST HEALTH CUTS

    A Shorten Labor Government would restore funding to six early psychosis centres around Australia to ensure that the young people with serious mental health problems get the support they need to live healthy and productive lives.

    Young people in Adelaide with early stage psychosis will miss out on a specialised early intervention service under Malcolm Turnbull’s latest round of health cuts.

    Malcolm Turnbull and Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, have defunded the specialist headspace Early Psychosis Youth Service (EPYS) in Adelaide, which only opened a few months ago and has already helped around 70 young people.

    Malcolm Turnbull must explain to South Australians why his Government has defunded this centre just months after $2 million was spent establishing it.

    Early intervention is proven to help young people at the more severe end of the mental illness spectrum and is crucial to stop conditions deteriorating, preventing more serious illness and taking pressure off an already stretched public health system.

    When announcing the Turnbull Government’s mental health reforms last year Sussan Ley said:

    “There won't be any turning away of anyone.”

    Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, Press Conference, November 26, 2015.

    The Adelaide centre’s closure would slam the door in the face of some of South Australia’s most vulnerable young people.

    The Turnbull Liberal Government’s funding cut has thrown the future of the successful EPYS programs into doubt and left centres across the country with little time to prepare the young people who use the services or the staff who work with them.

    Headspace centres need funding certainty if they are to continue to be successful and a Shorten Labor Government is committed to providing that funding certainty.

    WEDNESDAY, 18 MAY 2016

    **For 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au. Other services include Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467, Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636 **

    Senator Katy Gallagher is Labor's Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness and the Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader on State and Territory Relations.

     

    This is a joint release with Senator Penny Wong, Kate Ellis MP, and Senator Anne McEwen.

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    MENTAL HEALTH REFORMS MUST PUT PEOPLE FIRST

    Reports today that the Butterfly Foundation, a helpline for people with eating disorders, has only been given 12 months funding certainty is another example of the chaos being created across the mental health system.

    Minister for Health Sussan Ley’s refusal to take responsibility for the mess and guarantee continuity of care for those who rely on mental health services is symptomatic of the broader reform implementation which is leaving many services in limbo.

    “Everyone knows that it’s the people living with a mental illness who must be at the centre of mental health reforms yet it’s increasingly clear that the Turnbull Government is bent on pursuing the reforms at the expense of the very people who use and rely on these services,” Senator Gallagher said.

    “The implementation of these reforms has been nothing short of chaotic. The timelines are unreasonable, there is a lack of information available and no implementation plan to speak of.

    “Mental health services have been trying desperately for months to get information about what will happen to the people who rely on their services after the majority of reforms kick-in from 1 July, and it appears some have now been given a band-aid solution with just weeks to go before the end of their current funding arrangements,” Senator Gallagher said.

    The concerns raised by the Butterfly Foundation today are not isolated. There are widespread concerns across the sector including over the lack of transparency for funding decisions by the Turnbull Government with some services getting funding extensions for nine months, others for 12 months, while others are being defunded completely.

    At the same time the early psychosis programs have been told they will be wound down.

    Headspace centres will be required to compete for their funding with other services and many crucial services will be lost completely, such as the vital work being done by the Australian Child and Adolescent Trauma, Loss and Grief Network.

    On top of this, the Turnbull Government stopped funding the $45 million National Partnership on Mental Health Reform in the Budget, leaving many services across the country scrambling to identify ways to keep operating after 1 July.

    The Budget also scrapped funding for the Drought Assistance Package, which had a focus on mental health and well-being.

    A Shorten Labor Government will work with service providers to enable a smooth transition under the reform agenda and ensure that people with a mental illness are put first.

    Senator Katy Gallagher is Labor's Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness and the Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader on State and Territory Relations.

     

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    CANBERRA’S CLASSROOMS TO RECEIVE $25M BOOST UNDER A SHORTEN LABOR GOVERNMENT

    Under Malcolm Turnbull’s plans Canberra’s classrooms would be $515 million worse off over the next ten years.

    In contrast, a Shorten Labor Government will reverse all of the Liberal’s cuts and commit deliver the Gonski reforms on-time and in-full.

    Labor will invest an additional $25 million in Canberra schools in 2018 and 2019 alone.

    Without Labor’s investment the schools and students needing the most support will be the hardest hit.

    Only Labor will give principals and educators the support and resources they need to equip students with the skills to get a good job.

    The Turnbull Government’s plan to cut school funding is not a plan for jobs and growth.

    Every school and every student in Canberra will be better off under a Shorten Labor Government.

    Senator Katy Gallagher is Labor's Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness and the Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader on State and Territory Relations.

    This is a joint release with Andrew Leigh MP (Fenner) and Gai Brodtmann MP (Canberra).

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