2020 has been a year like no other. Prior to COVID the VTCTA Committee was kept busy progressing the issues relating to the ERO, aged care Commonwealth funding (block funding) and Commonwealth funding equity for Victoria. It was a great outcome to receive advise from the Commonwealth that indicated the ERO, or rather the equivalent funding, would be extended beyond 2020 and will be included in future CHSP funding agreements.

The sectors advocacy work in relation to the retention of block funding for transport gained traction throughout the year. There is no doubt our concerns have been heard of which will play a pivotal role in designing a single unified system for care of the elderly that brings together Home Care Packages and the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP). This is now a critical time for the sectors as any change will impact future Commonwealth funding agreements.

In my role of Chair of ACTA I look forward to, on behalf of the sector, ongoing dialog with the Department of Health as the program design takes shape. Commonwealth funding equity for Victoria remains a key advocacy project and will no doubt figure prominently in the current VTCTA strategic review currently underway. Of course most of the year was focused on COVID-19 and we together stepped through what was clearly uncharted waters. A key objective of our response was the engagement from the membership and responding to the specific needs from providers in Victoria and Tasmania. It became very clear that VTCTA members required accurate and timely advice and to that end we commenced weekly conferences of which have continued throughout. I would like to a specially thank our EO, Suzanne Phoenix for her hard work and dedication to the membership throughout COVID and for the year generally.

I would to take this opportunity the congratulate every member organisation and respective teams for how you have managed to deliver transport to your respective communities through a global pandemic. COVID has clearly demonstrated that no matter the circumstances our consumers need and demand safe and, reliable transport services and as a sector would should all be very proud to have played a key role in delivery such a services in these times.

Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday period.

Lyndon Stevenson
VTCTA Chair