Elders have nowhere to go

It is estimated that Able Australia currently provides transport for 75 older persons and has 30 more on their waitlist for this council region with the service set to cease in October. Picture: PIXABAY

Able Australia will stop its transport services funded by the Australian Government in Somerset due to inadequate funding.

Able Australia has been providing services through the Commonwealth Home Support Program to the West Moreton Region, which encompasses Somerset, for the past decade and delivered about 1200 trips monthly.

Somerset Regional Council Deputy Mayor Helen Brieschke said the withdrawal of the service from Somerset was ‘incredibly disappointing’.

“It is estimated that Able Australia currently provide transport for 75 older persons and have 30 more on their waitlist for this council region,” Cr Brieschke said.

“Most clients use the service weekly for shopping and/or to attend local medical appointments.”

Services in Somerset will significantly reduce from 1 October 2024.

“Clients are understandably distressed, as community transport enables them to stay in their own homes and access important services,” Cr Brieschke said.

“In addition more than a dozen employees will lose their jobs come October and they will close their Lowood office.”

Council will write to the Minister for Health and Aged Care to express its concern regarding the loss of community transport within Somerset and request urgent additional resources to support community transport in Somerset.

In addition, council will seek a deputation with the Minister in July 2024.