Tuesday, October 21, 1997.
Dr NAPTHINE OPENS NEW PLENTY RESIDENTIAL SERVICES FOR DISABLED
The new Plenty Residential Services home for a group of former residents of Janefield and Kingsbury is an excellent example of the Victorian Government’s commitment to a better lifestyle for people with intellectual disabilities, the Youth & Community Services Minister, Dr Denis Napthine said today.
Opening Plenty Residential Services, off Plenty Rd. Bundoora, Dr Napthine said the 94 residents will - probably for the first time in their lives - be able to entertain their friends and family in their own home and participate in all the home-based daily activities that most other people take for granted.
He said Plenty Residential Services was built for the former residents of the Janefield and Kingsbury Training Centres whose support needs were assessed as high.
Dr Napthine said 268 other former residents of Janefield and Kingsbury have relocated to community-based living, including seven who moved to nursing homes.
“The closure of Janefield and Kingsbury is part of an ongoing process of reforms and improvements to services for people with an intellectual disability in Victoria,” he said.
“The Government is providing $5.7 million each year to operate Plenty Residential Services, which looks like an ordinary housing estate with 23 separate houses and townhouses grouped around tree-lined terraces.
“The provision of new homes and lifestyles for the former residents of Janefield and Kingsbury has cost around $21 million, including building, buying and renovating new community houses.
“The cost of providing services to all the former residents of Janefield and Kingsbury is about $20 million per year - $2.7 million more than the cost of services at the old institutions.”
Dr Napthine said the 46 community residential houses were built or bought around Victoria to accommodate the former residents who moved out.
To support these people the Government established 169 new day program places around the State, costing an extra $930,000 per year. Increased case management and behaviour intervention support services have been put in place at an extra cost of $600,000 per year.
Dr Napthine said the Victorian Government announced the redevelopment of Janefield and Kingsbury in November 1994.
Major Victorian Government reforms over the past five years had led to an enhanced quality of life for people with intellectual disabilities, he said.
The State Plan for Intellectual Disability Services 1996/99, released in October last year, made a funding commitment of an extra $82 million over the next three years, taking total expenditure for intellectual disabilities in Victoria over that period to more than a billion dollars, Dr Napthine said.
“The Government remains committed to reducing the number of people living in institutional settings, and to providing appropriate community-based living where possible,” he said.
“The Target 200 initiative, announced as part of the State Plan, is helping to create 200 new community accommodation places for people with a range of disabilities.”
Some 800 people have moved from institutional care into the community since June 1992, Dr Napthine said.
Caloola, at Sunbury, was decommissioned in October 1992, followed by Mayday Hills at Beechworth in September 1993 and Ararat’s Aradale in April 1994. The Janefield/Kingsbury centres have now closed, and Pleasant Creek centre near Stawell is to close by the year 2000.
The State Plan signalled the Government’s intention to move a further 400 people out of institutions between 1996 and 1999.
Independent studies by La Trobe University into the outcomes of the closure of Caloola, Mayday Hills and Aradale confirmed the benefits of the community integration policies for people with disabilities followed by the Victorian Government, Dr Napthine said.
As part of the Plenty Residential Services opening, Dr Napthine also launched Colony to Community - a history of Janefield and Kingsbury Training Centres.
The book describes the emergence of institutional care for the ‘criminal and insane’ in the colony of Victoria, the early settlement of the Janefield area, the Anzac Red Cross farm at Janefield for returning World War One soldiers and TB sufferers, the use of Janefield in the War years, and the beginnings of care for intellectually disabled children in the 1930s at what was then known as Janefield Colony.
NOTE: Time & venue of Dr Napthine’s launch: - 10am today (Tuesday), Plenty Residential Services, off Plenty Rd. Bundoora (Melways Map 10, D8).
Michael Moore, Press Secretary (03) 9651 5799.
Graeme Walker, Department of Human Services, Media Unit (03) 9616 7296.