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  • The Victorian government will fund disability pay scheme to slow virus

    Author: AAP

Victorian disability care staff will be reimbursed for not doing multi-site work, with the state and federal governments funding the $15 million scheme.

The Victorian and federal governments will put $15 million into the disability sector to compensate out-of-pocket staff as authorities seek to reduce multi-site work.

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Premier Daniel Andrews announced the payment scheme, funded in a 50-50 split with the Commonwealth, after Friday's national cabinet meeting.

Under Melbourne's stage four lockdown, disability residential service providers are required to restrict movement as much as possible.

But care arrangements usually involve workers moving between sites.


The scheme establishes a "one worker-two sites" cap on operators, with the shared funding to cover lost hours for staff and the cost of sourcing additional workers.

Victoria has 62 active cases across 60 disability residential service operators, with 49 staff members among those battling the virus.

Mr Andrews said the initiative would mean fewer staff working across multiple sites, driving down infections and outbreaks.

"It dramatically reduces the risk that any staff member, unknowingly, may pose in terms of spreading the virus as they go about their very important work," he told reporters on Friday.

"We're grateful to them. That's not easy. But with that payment, that'll mean that we can support them to ... keep their clients safe."

The scheme will run until December in line with the public health workforce directions and include exceptions for emergency situations.

A disability response hub will also be set up within the State Control Centre in Melbourne, mirroring the aged care task force.

The state-led rapid response group will continue to manage disability outbreaks until the centre opens next week.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said there wasn't any haggling with Mr Andrews over whether disability care facilities were a state or federal responsibility.

"Performance in the disability sector, we agree, has been one of the better stories in the management and containment of this outbreak," Mr Morrison told reporters in Canberra.

"That's good news and we want to keep it that way."


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