Able Australia ends community support

Able Australia ends community support

Hundreds of Logan residents reliant on vital care services will be left stranded and hungry when Able Australia closes its doors in September.

The fate of the Caddies Community Centre and its crucial care services is also uncertain due to the closure.

Locals relying on the centre for emergency relief, transport services and its cherished food pantry will be left high and dry after the rising cost of living forced Able into closure.

If an alternative service provider isn’t secured, individuals with disabilities will also be negatively affected.

The Able team has operated out of the Caddies Community Centre for more than a decade.

The organisation’s crucial community services will run until 30 September this year before operation is ceased across Queensland.

There are eight staff, even more volunteers, 150 frequent clients and several hundred more locals who receive help from the Jimboomba centre.

“Inadequate funding and increases in cost of living, particularly fuel and utilities, mean we’ve had to make the difficult decision to stop providing aged care funded services through our Queensland team,” a letter to Able’s local clientele said.

“The decision was made after careful consideration and exploration of all other options.”

Local resident and food panty frequent Jodie Gibson predicted “thousands of locals will be impacted”.

“Plenty of people use Able for the food bank – it has been really good to us” she said.

One of the centre’s longtime volunteers, Val, said Able’s departure would leave a “huge gap in seniors’ care”.

“The transport services takes all the old people to hospital, the doctors and to all their appointments… around 650 people are on that list,” she said.

Val said the centre also offered a range of social gatherings for local seniors every week.

Several clients who regularly use Caddies’ services said they were deeply concerned about options for future care.

Volunteer, Zechariah, said he loved assisting at the centre over the past two years because he had “made a real difference” in people’s lives.

Able Australia said the South East Queensland services had been running at a “significant loss” for years and lacked federal government support. 

“These services have run at a loss of more than $2.2 million just since 2018 and Able Australia has covered the cost of these losses,” a statement said.

“As a not-for-profit organisation, we are not in a position to continue to do this.”

Able said staff would “actively work to ensure clients experience minimal disruption” and help them find an alternative aged care provider.

“We are working through the potential impacts of this decision with our 18 staff who work in these services in South East Queensland, approximately 500 current clients and 130 volunteers, and will continue to do so through this period of change,” the statement said.

“We believe that a provider that delivers a wide variety of ageing in place services would have more scale to be able to provide these programs sustainably, within the scope of their broader service offering.

“With strong outcomes and a committed staff and volunteer base, these services present an attractive opportunity for a provider to grow their service offering.”

The Department of Health and Aged Care did not respond to MyCity Logan’s request for comment.

Able said it would continue to provide disability support services in the region.

When asked what would happen to the Caddies Community Centre, it’s owner, Logan City council, said:

“Logan City Council is seeking more information from Able Australia.”

The following Jimboomba services will be impacted by the closure:

  • Community transport, including NDIS transport
  • Social Support – individual and group supports
  • Meals on Wheels and Food Pantry
  • Good, equipment and assistive technology (alarms)
  • Active Living Program for Seniors (although the program is state funded, continuation of the service without other accompanying services is not possible)
  • Emergency relief

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