The Federal Government is seeking the public’s help in finding the best way to provide care for people in care during the heatwave.
Key points:The Government wants people to use the emergency assistance line to find respiteCarers can apply to the State Government for respiteCrisis accommodation is available in most centresThe Department of Health is offering emergency accommodation to help those in crisisRespite accommodation is a form of home care offered to those who are not able to access a formal carer or carership.
The Government is working with the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and other community groups to find a suitable facility for people to stay during the hot weather.
The department said the department was currently working with ACOSS to identify a suitable home for people.
The National Emergency Service is also using the emergency call system to provide help to those experiencing crisis accommodation.
Emergency call systemThe Emergency Call System (ECS) was created in 2013 to provide immediate assistance during hot weather, such as food and water, to people who were not in their homes.
The system was designed to provide the highest level of response, with the aim of minimising the number of people in emergency accommodation.
The NSW Emergency Service also uses the system.
The Australian Council for Social Service has been working closely with the Department of Emergency Services (DES) and Department of Family and Community Services (DFCS) to develop a scheme to assist people in crisis accommodation during the bushfires.
The group said it would also offer temporary support during the fires.
Mr Andrews said the Government had a duty to provide support to those in the community who needed it most, including those who had been in hospital.
“We want people to have the same support as we have in other circumstances, that is to get into a place where they can continue to do their job, do their work, do what they do,” he said.
“They can be part of the recovery process.
And then, if there is an emergency, then they can get their family back into their home, to go out and support their family.”
Mr Andrews confirmed the Government would work with the ACOSS and DFCS to find out more about what is needed to meet the demand for emergency accommodation during bushfires, but said the plan was to begin in 2019.
“It’s not just about people in temporary accommodation,” he told ABC Radio Sydney.
“This is an opportunity for people that are in our community, our community-based agencies, to be able to be in a place that is appropriate for them to be with their family for a time period of time.”
He said people could apply for a respite accommodation during emergencies, as long as it was in a designated community centre, with a staff of two or three and that the accommodation would be at a reasonable cost.
“A respite can be offered to people that have been in the same location for a period of four to six months, that they are in a stable environment,” he added.
“You can take care of their health, and they can have a family member or someone else to take care and look after their family member.”