A COUNCIL could shed 82 jobs and move about 700 clients to another service if it stops providing aged and disability care.
It comes as local governments get out of the sector under sweeping reforms designed to give people more control of the services they use.
The Campaspe Shire Council has announced an in-principle decision to stop aged care and disability services if a new provider can be found, regulatory and community services general manager Paul McKenzie said.
"For the immediate short term there is no change to service," he said.
"If there was a shift to a new provider in the future there would be a very minimal effect on clients, given the service would continue."
All staff would be made redundant if a new provider was found, Mr McKenzie said.
"At the same time, they will be really well-placed to get themselves a job either with the new provider or with others in the area, given the real shortage of trained staff," he said.
"Our staff are a well-trained professional group."
The introduction of the National Disability Scheme was one of the reforms changing the way councils and other groups took in funding, Mr McKenzie said.
Councils could not necessarily rely on bulk funding for programs anymore, he said That put them at a disadvantage.
"The funding is attached to the client, who can choose who provides that care for them and what is spent," Mr McKenzie said.
"No councils are really set up to cope with that type of flexibility. And our (employee) award conditions are pretty outdated, given there will be competition introduced as well."
It was better to get out early than be forced out later because the council could not compete with private companies, Mr McKenzie said.
Bendigo ceased similar services in 2016.
The Campaspe Shire still needed to consult with the federal government about how it would find a provider and call for expressions of interest.
"We are confident there will be a number of willing applicants that provide locally and nationally," Mr McKenzie said.
A CENTRAL Victorian council plans to stop aged care and disability services, as long as a new provider can be found.
The "difficult" in-principle decision was not one the Campaspe Shire Council had taken lightly, mayor Adrian Weston said.
Changes in the aged and disability sector meant the council would likely not be able to compete effectively or viably in a changing marketplace," he said.
The council currently offers a range of services to frail aged people and residents with disabilities. Their aim is to "help you remain living independently at home", according to the council's website.
The reforms required governments to find the most efficient and effective model of service to meet a dramatic increase in demand, according to the council.
They also required a new national approach and a shift to consumers having more control of their care, including who would deliver it, when and where.
The City of Greater Bendigo stopped similar services in 2016 and moved older people to a program managed and funded by the Commonwealth government.
Its website directed people with disabilities to the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
The Campaspe Shire would soon begin the search for a new preferred provider. If one is found the council could confirm its in-principle decision later in the year.
The Commonwealth government would have the final say on who the provider would be.
More to come.
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