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1985 – Review and consultation

A number of significant actions took place in 1985 demonstrating a shift in government commitment to people with disability in Australia. The introduction of the Home and Community Care Program (HACC) in 1985 (which is still in operation today) and other community-based respite services including in-home respite was an important landmark for carers, who were identified as a target group in their own right.

Also in 1985 the Handicapped Persons Review was undertaken which led to the New Directions report and culminated in the Commonwealth Disability Services Act (1986). The review had taken the unprecedented step of involving people with disability and their families as part of an extensive and comprehensive consultation process. Feedback from the consultation indicated a high level of criticism about existing services and a desire for improved access to mainstream services.