Kew Cottages Coalition

MEDIA RELEASE

KEW COTTAGES AND THE DISABILITY WAITING LIST IN VICTORIA

KCC Ref:  MR20031111
[File:Online]
Date:       11th November 2003

Although the government would have us believe that the 450 residents of Kew Residential Services are the bulk of the intellectually disabled in Victoria, there are in fact almost 3000 with intellectual disabilities on the State Government's waiting list for support and assistance. One thousand (1000) are in urgent need of services including accommodation.

Thus the real number of intellectually disabled requiring assistance is well over 3000 - almost ten times the number being touted by the Government. So how could the sale of Kew Cottages possibly help these 3000 "forgotten" Victorians, when the Government itself admits that all the money gained from the sale of Kew Cottages will be needed to re-house the current 450 living there?

These 3000 people feel forgotten and abandoned and stuck forever on the Bracks Government’s never ending waiting list. Not to mention the many people who can't even get on a waiting list.

And once they are on the never-ending waiting list where can these people go to anyway? Does the Bracks Government have a real policy about managing intellectual disability in Victoria, other than simply crushing Kew Cottages? How does it plan to provide care for the 3000 intellectually disabled on the waiting list once Kew Cottages is sold and converted into high density housing?

How can the large number of Victorians on the current endless waiting list have any hope in the present process?

Rather than selling off the public land at Kew Residential Services we believe the site should be upgraded and developed into a Centre of Excellence for the Intellectually Disabled – a place where a range of care options are offered and where high quality research into the best means of improving the lives of the intellectually diasabled can be explored. This should include a variety of housing initiatives, respite care and support service for the intellectually disabled of all ages.

To provide hope for those Victorian on the Government’s endless waiting list, we have decided to set up a Kew Cottages Coalition Waiting List for those people who have given up hope with the Governments' waiting list, but who would like the opportunity to consider respite care and other accomodation options for their child or sibling at a new Centre of Excellence for the Intellectually Disabled at the Kew Residential Services site.

It is time to do something about those intellectually disabled Victorians who are in need assistance now, but who are instead waiting, waiting, waiting. They need some hope for the future. The Kew Cottages Coalition Waiting List will provide some hope and will give voice to the many Victorians who currently feel too intimidated to speak out.

We encourage people to register on the Kew Cottages Coalition Waiting List and to send a message to the State Government that people with intellectual disabilities can no longer be ignored.

Registration of the Kew Cottages Coalition Waiting List can be made by:

Email:                     kewcottageswaitinglist@yahoo.com.au

Website:                 www.kew.org.au

Telephone:             03 9853 7708
 

Contact can be made anonymously or details can be left and all correspondence and communication will be answered.

For more details with regard to this media release contact::

Liz Bentley
Telephone:             03 9853 7708