Last updated: 11/10/2019 6:52 PM
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​Carers provide ongoing care, support and assistance to a person with disabilities or a chronic illness, including mental illness, or who are frail. Carers do not receive a salary or wage for the care they provide. Anyone can become a carer at any time.  A person might become a carer virtually overnight, after the birth of a baby with disability, or because of an accident or a medical diagnosis, or it might happen gradually as an illness progresses or as a parent becomes frail. 

Caring is one of the most significant forms of unpaid work in the community and is integral to Western Australia's aged, disability, health, mental health, and palliative care systems. Family members and friends provide the bulk of this care, which for a carer can be equal to the demands of a full-time job, with many carers providing more than 40 hours of care each week. There are about 310,000 carers in Western Australia.

Western Australia was the first Australian jurisdiction to extend legal recognition to carers with the enactment of the Carers Recognition Act 2004 (Carers Act). The Minister for Community Services has legislative responsibility for the Carers Act. This Act aims to recognise the role of carers in the community and provide a mechanism for involving carers in the provision of services that affect carers and their role. The Carers Advisory Council reports on compliance with the Carers Act and provides advice to the Minister.

For information about the Carers Recognition Act 2004 or the Carers Advisory Council, please contact 08 6217 6888, Country free call 1800 176 888 or email  

Review of Carers Recognition Act 2004

The Department of Communities is reviewing the Carers Recognition Act 2004 to ensure carers continue to be supported and recognised. Carers, community members and other stakeholders around Western Australia had their say during a consultation process, providing feedback on a range of issues, including the best ways to recognise carers and the role they provide to the community.

Consultation has closed and work on the review is progressing. Further information will be provided when it’s available.