Labor stands still on aged care
Response by the Minister for Ageing, Julie Bishop to Labor’s Budget-in-Reply speech.
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13 May 2005
In 2004 the then Labor Leader refused to utter the words "aged care" in his Budget-in-Reply speech. He failed to "reply" to the Australian Government’s record $2.2 billion package for aged care.
Fast forward 12 months and nothing has changed.
Tonight Labor had the opportunity, after more than nine years in Opposition, to offer the Australian people the first coherent, comprehensive Labor policy ever on aged care.
And Labor has again failed.
The new-old Labor Leader has again failed to offer any vision for aged care, older Australians, their families and carers.
In contrast, in the 2005 Budget the Australian Government built on its $2.2 billion package with more than $500 million in new funding, including to make dementia an Australian Government National Health Priority, and providing a much needed break for carers. The Budget also provides funding to establish a consultative framework to further reform the aged care sector and ensure it is sustainable for the future.
In nine years Labor has stood still on aged care.
Attached is last year’s media release - nothing has changed except the date. Labor continues to fail older Australians who need care.
Media contact: Rachael Thompson 0417 265 289
Attachment13 May 2004
Labor still doesn't care about aged careLabor has tonight proved once again that when it comes to older Australians and their carers, they just don’t care.
Not once in his Budget In Reply speech did the Labor Leader mention aged care. He has forgotten older Australians.
Not a single commitment to care and support for aged care residents, carers, families, nurses and providers.
Not a single dollar towards high quality care or more aged care places.
Not a single Labor idea, vision or policy for aged care.
In its 13 years of Government Labor neglected aged care, left office with a 10,000 aged care place shortage, failed to introduce national legislated care standards and refused to act when an independent report found nursing homes delivering poor quality care.
More than eight years later nothing has changed. Labor still doesn’t care about aged care. It has no clear vision for caring for older Australians.
In comparison, the Australian Government has made aged care a priority, and has put in place policies and increased funding to deliver world class aged care services that provide high quality, affordable, accessible aged care.
The Australian Government’s $2.2 billion Investing in Australia’s Aged Care: More Places, Better Care package boosts the quality and availability of aged care for older Australians now, and into the future.
The package includes:
- An extra 27,900 new aged care places over the next three years, including 13,030 in 2004 and doubling the number of community care places to meet the desires of older Australians who want to remain at home as they grow older;
- An extra $877.8 million over four years in funding for aged care providers to improve care and wages for aged care nurses and personal care workers;
- Almost $1 billion in extra Australian Government funding to help build new and upgrade existing aged care homes, particularly to meet fire and safety standards;
- $101.4 million over four years for new aged care scholarships and to help existing aged care nurses and personal care workers to upgrade their skills to provide high quality care for older Australians.
The Australian Government is ensuring older Australians and their families receive the high quality, affordable, accessible care they need and deserve.
Labor continues to fail on aged care.
Media contact: Rachael Thompson 0417 265 289
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