As the deadline for Labor’s rushed staffing requirements looms over aged care providers, the Albanese Government is forking out taxpayer funds for a consultant in an attempt to cover up their failings.
For more than six months, the Coalition and the sector have been warning the Albanese Labor Government that home closures would be the consequence of their decision to expedite requirements by an entire year and impose rigid constrains on the sector.
The Aged Care Minister has consistently refused to listen to these concerns. Now, older Australians are being forced out of their homes, providers are under serious pressure, and she has been forced to concede that Labor cannot meet its headline election commitment to have 24/7 nurses in all aged care facilities by 1 July this year.
Instead of taking responsibility for this broken promise and the impacts it is having on aged care homes across the country, the Government has decided to pay $400,000 in taxpayer funds to find a last-minute workaround.
The Aged Care Minister has some serious questions to answer, including why she is paying a consultant to find a work-around when the Royal Commission, the aged care sector, and the Coalition have been giving her the answers for months?
The Shadow Minister for Health and Aged Care, Senator the Hon Anne Ruston said, “Since they introduced their ill-considered aged care legislation to the Parliament, we have been calling for additional consideration to be given to the serious workforce pressures faced particularly by small, rural and regional aged care providers.”
“By bringing in a consultant at the very last minute, the Government is finally admitting that their policy did not consider the realities faced by aged care providers on the ground, but this does not make up for the serious stress their legislation has placed on the sector for months,” Senator Ruston said.
The Coalition has always been clear that we support older Australians receiving the best care possible, but Labor’s decision to bring forward the Royal Commission’s recommended timelines and imposing rigid constraints on the aged care sector has been proved reckless and damaging.