The new Ethnic Link Services centre in Renmark will share in almost $1.5 million in funding from the Turnbull Government to support Riverland seniors to remain living independently in their own homes for as long as they want.

Officially opening the new centre today on behalf of Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt AM, Member for Barker Tony Pasin said Ethnic Link Services staff and volunteers provided care in 45 different languages to around 250 people each year.

“Ethnic Link Services is building on more than 20 years of home and community support for culturally diverse Riverland residents,” Mr Pasin said.

“The new Renmark site will allow Ethnic Link Services to expand its offering to the broader community, providing a unique mix of holistic care and helping hands that have forged bonds of friendship and broken down social isolation.

“Ethnic Link Services has been a trailblazer in helping ensure the region’s strong cross cultural community connections extend into the aged care sector.”

Minister Wyatt said Ethnic Link Services was being supported by the Turnbull Government’s record $5.5 billion, two-year funding commitment for the Commonwealth Home Support Program.

“During the next two years, Ethnic Link Services will receive almost $740,000 a year to help local older Australians with transport, meals and group and individual social support,” said Minister Wyatt.

“Everyone who has worked here in the past, and those working here now, deserve thanks for providing such an inclusive and caring service.”

Ethnic Link Services works closely with the Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia and is operated by UnitingSA, which provides extensive home and residential aged care services in South Australia.

The Electorate of Barker has 20.7 per cent of the local population aged over 65 and over, compared with 16 per cent nationally, with 7.9 per cent of older Australians in the electorate identifying as being from culturally linguistically diverse backgrounds.

During 2016-17, the Turnbull Government provided $88.6 million for residential aged care services, $18.2 million for home care services and $4 million for Commonwealth Homes Support Program services in Barker.