In it’s rush to tick and flick election commitments, the Albanese Labor Government has failed to admit that the headline aged care promises they made to older Australians and their families are undeliverable.
The UTS Ageing Research Collaborative report released today confirms that the Government’s expedited requirements for aged care facilities will see homes closed down and older Australians abandoned.
The report states that meeting the incoming mandated standards will require an additional 6,922 full-time registered nurses in Australia.
In fact, less than 5% of the surveyed homes currently have the required direct care workforce needed to fulfil the requirements that will be placed on them.
This demonstrates why the Coalition has been consistently calling on the Albanese Government to be honest about the challenges faced by aged care providers and the hollow promises the Government has made on workforce requirements.
The Government has blatantly ignored the Coalition’s concerns that their expedited timeframe could force aged care homes to close because they just can’t access staff, residents kicked out of their homes, and older Australians from rural and regional Australia forced to travel miles away from their community to receive support.
This report is critical to understanding the full scope of the issue for our aged care providers, particularly considering the Government has refused to release any modelling on this issue, and they have not presented any practical solutions to support providers through this critical time.
The Albanese Government’s recent Budget merely scratched the surface on providing the immediate support needed by the sector so they can ensure continued operation of their critical services under the additional requirements.
Most concerningly, the Government has refused to answer simple questions like where the additional nurses will come from, how the Government is supporting providers to find those nurses, and whether they will be able to apply for an exemption if they cannot find them.
It has only been one month since the Government’s aged care bill passed the Parliament, and regional communities are already at the forefront of the consequences of their opaque ‘legislation’.
Tragically, places like Dimboola’s Allambi Elderly Peoples Home, which has been diligently serving their local community for over 60 years, has been forced to close, and the Minister has not even picked up the phone to speak to the CEO.
This is blatant incompetence by the Government at a time when aged care providers most need their support.
We know that rural and regional face unique and serious challenges, which is why the Coalition sought to amend the Government’s aged care legislation to simply require consideration of these challenges. It was extraordinarily disappointing to see the Government opposed this amendment.
The Government must now urgently outline how they plan to find the additional workforce that this report has shown is needed.
What is their plan to ensure every single aged care provider is supported in the significant task before them, as the sector works to comply with the Government’s accelerated requirements whilst prioritising support for our older Australians?
The Coalition strongly supports older Australians receiving the care they deserve, but we condemn the Albanese Government for making promises to older Australians and their families that it knows cannot be delivered.