New facilities for the National Training Centre for Hearing Assistance Dogs and Medical Alert Dogs will be established to quadruple the number of hearing assistance dogs trained each year under a re-elected Morrison Government.
Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said a re-elected Morrison Government would provide $5 million to Australian Lions Hearing Dogs that would allow the organisation to provide 120 assistance dogs each year to people with hearing loss.
“Not only are these puppies adorable but they provide people who are deaf or hard of hearing with a renewed sense of confidence and a greater willingness to undertake work and community activities,” Minister Ruston said.
“This investment will quadruple the number of hearing assistance dogs trained in the Adelaide Hills and delivered to people across the country – up from 30 each year currently to 120.
“Our Government’s strong economic management allows us to invest in the essential services Australians rely on including fully funding the NDIS, delivering the National Disability Strategy and supporting employers to hire people with a disability.”
Australian Lions Hearing Dogs Chief Executive David Horne said the funding would expand the organisation’s ability to train more dogs and assist more people.
“This is an investment in the ongoing positive development of the Assistance Dog industry, and a significant step forward for those who are deaf or hard of hearing,” Mr Horne said.
“The commitment to this project reinforces the support already received from the Australian public in creating a world class facility for our national Assistance Dog program, right here in the Adelaide Hills.”
Liberal candidate for Mayo Allison Bluck said the investment would establish a fit-for-purpose training centre helping to create local jobs and boost community participation in the Adelaide Hills.
“The current kennels and training facilities were repurposed from old farmland enclosures in 1981 so it’s well and truly time for an upgrade,” Ms Bluck said.
“The redevelopment of the five-acre site will be delivered over four phases to ensure there are no interruptions to the current training program.”
The $10 million project is also supported by individual philanthropy and business donations.
The dogs are trained to respond to common household sounds such as an alarm clock, door knock, door bell, oven timer, phone ringing and baby crying. The dogs will alert their deaf or hard of hearing owner, generally by touching them with their paw, and lead them back to the sound.
One in six Australians will experience hearing loss in their lifetime.
Only the Morrison Government has a plan to continue delivering a strong economy and a stronger future for the residents of South Australians.