Aged Care funding

1 September 2020

Senator GRIFF (South Australia) (16:09): I move:

That the Senate—

(a) acknowledges that:

   (i) the Federal Government is entirely responsible for aged care funding and regulation,

   (ii) the many weaknesses in our aged care system have not been caused by COVID-19 – they have been exposed in glaring focus by the pandemic,

   (iii) the aged care system has long been broken, evidenced by the need for the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety to examine the systemic issues facing the sector including chronic underfunding, under-skilling and underpayment of staff, no minimum staffing requirements, no minimum training qualifications and no transparency with how $21 billion paid to the sector is spent, and

   (iv) it should not have taken the pandemic to make aged care a political priority;

(b) notes that:

   (i) on 21 February 2020, Counsel Assisting, Mr Peter Rozen QC, recommended to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, that minimum staffing levels should be implemented urgently to protect senior Australians in care, and

   (ii) minimum staffing levels in residential aged care, on every shift, with the right mix of skills and qualifications, is a critical part of providing quality care; and

(c) calls on the Government to legislate for minimum staffing levels pursuant to recommendations made by Mr Peter Rozen QC.

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