MidCoast Council expect smooth transition of services

Published on 23 May 2024

MCC logo.png

MidCoast Council will now enter into negotiations with the preferred providers interested in taking on the future delivery of the ageing and disability services currently provided by MidCoast Assist to the community.

There was a strong response to recent requests for proposals from interested parties, following a decision in February by Council to transition out of the services.

Council’s Director of Liveable Communities, Paul De Szell, confirmed that as a result of a decision at yesterday’s May Council meeting, they will now enter into talks with Kirinari Community Services (aged care) and Ability Options (disability services) with a view to transitioning services.

“Council is confident that a good outcome will be secured for the aged care clients, disability participants and staff of MidCoast Assist, through these negotiations.”

Mr De Szell said it is important that clients, participants, families and carers understand that there will be no change to services until they are directly notified by MidCoast Assist of how the transition will work.

“When the negotiations are complete a report will be provided back to a Council meeting for a decision,” he explained.

“It is anticipated that following that decision, contracts will be entered into and transition plans developed to support staff, clients and participants in the transfer of services.”

Mr De Szell said Council is working towards an outcome that will ensure continuity of service for clients and participants.

“Clients, participants and their families and carers will be contacted in advance of any changes.“

MidCoast Council made the decision to transition out of the delivery of ageing and disability services in February 2024.

MidCoast Assist was a legacy function of the former Great Lakes Council and began in the 1990s when other government funded providers withdrew from the Local Government Area.

“At the time, the objective was to provide services to the community which were not otherwise being provided by the community services sector,” Mr De Szell said.

“Today there are multiple providers (large and small) of both ageing and disability services located in the MidCoast region. Those providers offer a broad range of services for the elderly and for people living with disability.”

Mr De Szell said as a result of the constantly changing landscape, MidCoast Assist has been under periodic review to ensure it was a viable part of Council’s activities.

Ageing and disability services are a discretionary service rather than a core Council business such as roads, water and sewer, planning functions and waste management.

Mr De Szell paid tribute to the staff of MidCoast Assist, saying they have delivered a fantastic and valued service for our community over the course of its operation.

“The decision is absolutely not a reflection of a lack of effort or capability on the part of MidCoast Assist staff – they have been outstanding,” Mr De Szell said.