PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 15437

Weemala

Photo of Howard, John

Howard, John

Period of Service: 11/03/1996 to 03/12/2007

More information about Howard, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 14/08/2007

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 15437

I welcome advice from the New South Wales Minister for Planning today that the Royal Rehabilitation Centre, Sydney (RRCS) has confirmed it will now proceed to develop small, purpose-built residential accommodation adjacent to the new rehabilitation centre campus. The change of heart follows recent media reports and strong public reaction to the plight of Weemala's profoundly disabled residents.

This announcement will provide certainty and comfort to the families of the 16 residents of Weemala with complex and high support needs.

However, I remain concerned about the impact of this process on the residents of Weemala and their families. I note that Mr Sartor intends writing to the RRCS Board, requesting they put together a comprehensive consultation process with families and suggesting that they might want to involve the New South Wales Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care. With respect, I believe that the New South Wales Government should have been monitoring this case all along.

Therefore, the Commonwealth will offer an independent assessment to Weemala residents who have been affected by the New South Wales Government's decision to relocate them permanently or temporarily into alternative accommodation.

This independent assessment process will provide advice on the immediate and longer term needs and requirements of each individual resident and help residents, and their families or advocates, to negotiate with the New South Wales Government about the appropriateness of the alternative accommodation on offer. Assessments will be undertaken by CRS Australia.

Residents and their families or advocates facing this relocation can contact the Commonwealth Department of Family and Community Services and Indigenous Affairs on (02) 9244 6827 from 8.00 am to 8.00 pm to progress their assessment.

Transcript 15437