Best Value Review - Aged and Disability Services

COS news logo

Aged and Disability Services Review – Project Update

The Aged and Disability Services Review is nearing completion. A final report is on track to be presented to Council at its meeting on 13 December 2023.

The consultants supporting the review (Lake Advisory) have been busy over the last couple of months listening to clients, family members and friends, Council staff and community members from all across the shire about the current and anticipated needs in relation to aged and disability services, and the barriers to ageing well in Colac Otway Shire.

Lake Advisory received a total of 238 survey responses, both on-line and in writing, containing valuable information and insight about people’s experience with services and their views around their future needs.

In addition to the written responses, Lake Advisory conducted numerous face to face sessions with Council staff and interested client and community members to hear directly from participants about the current service model, the reforms being delivered by the Commonwealth Government and the challenges faced by people in the community.


Council has provided aged and disability services to enable people to live independently at home and in the community for over 40 years.

In the 2021-22 financial year, Council delivered approximately 46,500 hours of aged and disability services to around 950 clients. Council employs around 50 staff (32 full time equivalent), and contractors to provide aged and disability services that comprise domestic services, personal care and respite, delivered meals on wheels, social support, transport and home maintenance services.

At its meeting on Wednesday 3 May 2023, Council resolved to undertake a Best Value Review of Council’s aged and disability services in response to the Commonwealth Government changes to aged care. Council has also endorsed the project plan that outlines how it will approach the review, including the importance of consultation with clients, staff and community as well as the use of specialist experts to fully understand the implications of the reforms.

Prompted by this system overhaul, Colac Otway Shire Council joins municipalities across Victoria and Australia in considering their future in the delivery of services in this sector.

A Best Value Review is a multi-principled review process that goes much further than just a financial assessment and includes the following important principles:

  • The need to review services against the best on offer in both the public and private sectors.
  • Community expectations and values.
  • The balance of affordability and accessibility of services to the community.
  • Opportunities for local employment growth or retention.
  • An assessment of cost and value for money in service delivery.

Noting that the provision of aged and disability services to support people to live independently in their homes is a commitment of the Commonwealth Government and that there are quality service providers dedicated to the sector, the Best Value Review will provide the information needed to make an informed decision on Council’s future in the delivery of these services.

Council has no plans to make changes during the Best Value Review, and is committed to avoid disruption to the services clients currently receive during this period with all programs and services to operate as usual.

The Commonwealth Government has sole policy and funding responsibility for the delivery of aged care services and has announced a new national system for the sector that will be implemented from 1 July 2025.

This new system is a significant change and includes increases in the reporting and accountability requirements, changes to provider accreditation, new governance standards, more demanding performance reporting and increased prudential and financial reporting standards.

Council will need to explore the implications of reforms to its current delivery to understand its capacity to comply with the new requirements if it is to be able to continue to provide these services to the community.

Council is committed to conducting the Best Value Review in an open and transparent way.  

A report on the Best Value Review, including all feedback collected during the consultation period, will be presented at a Council Meeting in late 2023 for a decision on Council’s future management and delivery of aged and disability services in Colac Otway  Shire.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Commonwealth Government Aged Care Reforms?

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety highlighted the necessity for major changes to be implemented to improve the standard and quality of aged care.  The Commonwealth Government aged care reforms deliver beneficial opportunities for change including improved standards and quality of service and increased choice and control of services for older people.

What does this mean for Council’s aged and disability services?

The Commonwealth Government has developed a new aged care program ‘Support at Home’ which will commence on 1 July 2025.  This new system includes a range of significant changes that aim to empower and protect older persons with greater choice and more confidence about the standard of care received.

To achieve these objectives, there will be increases in the reporting and accountability requirements, changes to provider accreditation, new governance standards, more demanding performance reporting and increased prudential and financial reporting standards.

Council has decided to undertake a Best Value Review of its aged and disability services to enable it to fully understand the reforms and its capacity to deliver the high quality services under the new regime expected by the Commonwealth Government.

When will the Best value Review happen?

The Best Value Review will start in mid-June 2023 and be completed by December 2023.

What is a Best Value Review?
The concept of a ‘best value’ review is outlined in the Local Government Act 1989 and has been a long-standing practice for Councils to use this review framework for major service reviews. It suggests a broad range of factors to be considered in such a review, rather than it being conducted solely on a financial or economic basis.

Factors that may be looked at when applying these principles include;

  • the need to review services against the best on offer in both the public and private sectors;
  • community expectations and values;
  • the balance of affordability and accessibility of services to the community;
  • opportunities for local employment growth or retention; and
  • an assessment of cost and value for money in service delivery.

How will I be kept informed of what’s happening?

We will ensure staff and clients are regularly updated with relevant information regarding the review. These updates will be provided by letter and/or emails as well as information on Council’s website and via project updates that will include answers to frequently asked questions.

Will I be able to contribute to a review?

Yes indeed. We believe it’s vitally important we provide opportunities for staff, clients and families to contribute to a review. We will contact you in the future with further information about how you can contribute.

Will there be any change to current services during the review?

Council will strive to ensure that services continue to be delivered as usual and has no plans for changes to its service delivery through the review period. .

Who can I contact if I have any questions?

If you have any questions, please contact Council on (03) 5232 9400 or email inq@colacotway.vic.gov.au