Yallambee Deniliquin will merge with Wagga-based service provider Kurrajong Warratah, after government funding changes were announced.
Yallambee Deniliquin will push ahead with a merger with Wagga-based service provider Kurrajong Warratah.
The proposal was put to Yallambee members at the organisation’s annual general meeting late last week, and was supported unanimously.
In announcing the result, Yallambee chair Amanda Shand said the support from members would help protect Yallambee from a changing approach to disability services.
‘‘Given the state and federal government disability reform agenda and the impending National Disability Insurance Scheme, this is a great result for the families and clients of Yallambee,’’ she said.
‘‘It is a historical decision that will strengthen and ensure the future vitality and growth of disability services in the Deniliquin, Conargo, Berrigan and Balranald Shires.’’
The merger was investigated in response to government plans to alter the way disability funding is distributed, under the proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
A Gillard Government initiative, it will change the current funding regime.
The more individualised approach will increase competition in the disability sector with both ‘for profit’ businesses and other larger not-for-profit organisations expected to enter the market.
When announcing the proposal in October, Mrs Shand said it meant there was no guarantee Yallambee would be secure in an open and competitive market environment.
The merger with Kurrajong Warratah improves the chances for both organisations to gain funding.
In developing the merger proposal, Mrs Shand said an agreement was made that there would be no changes at the Deniliquin organisation.
Services and staff will be retained, and Yallambee will remain in control of its own finances under the memorandum of understanding.
Kurrajong Warratah chief executive officer Steve Jacques said he was pleased with the decision, and welcomed the change to work alongside Yallambee.
He reiterated current services at Yallambee would not be lost, and said there was an opportunity to expand local services.
‘‘I am very excited for Yallambee and Kurrajong Warratah,’’ he said.
‘‘I look forward to moving ahead with forging a partnership between both organisations and working with Yallambee in seeking opportunities to expand the services provided to their clients and families.’’
Yallambee and Kurrajong Warratah plan to have the merger completed by June 30 next year.
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