Date published: 
19 July 2019
Media type: 
Media release
General public

The Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Richard Colbeck, has today announced the terms of reference for an independent inquiry into the events surrounding the forced relocation last week of residents at the Earle Haven Retirement Village.

Minister Colbeck said he was angered and appalled by the terrible and unprecedented events that occurred at the retirement village.

“Residents should not have been put in a situation where they were forced to be relocated because they were left without the care they so rightfully deserved,” Minister Colbeck said.

“I recognise the good work by the staff from Queensland Health and the Commonwealth Department of Health. Both responded urgently to the situation and worked through the night to safely relocate residents. I want to thank those who recognised the urgency of this situation and escalated it to emergency services.”

“To get to the bottom of what has occurred, I have commissioned a full inquiry into the circumstances leading up to the collapse in provision of aged care services at the facility.

“The inquiry will examine the impact and consequences of the events on the safety and wellbeing of the affected residents.

“The inquiry will be led by Ms Kate Carnell AO, who has extensive experience across a broad range of policy areas and a deep knowledge of the aged care system.

“I am determined to ensure there we understand why the situation occurred, that we do what we can to prevent this type of event in the future and that those responsible are held to account. I look forward to Ms Carnell’s report.”

The Member for Moncrieff, Angie Bell, welcomed the Ministers announcement and said she is working with department officials to ensure those effected receive the best possible care.

“I am devastated about what has happened to residents in my local community and fully support Minister Colbeck’s commissioning of a full inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Earle Haven.

“One week on and it has been very humbling to meet with residents and see the resilience that they and their families have shown.

“I will make sure that I take their messages with me to Federal Parliament in Canberra.

“Minister Colbeck and I will continue to work closely to ensure that these older Australians are safe and are looked after and that those responsible for this situation are held to account,” said Ms Bell.

The terms of the reference for the inquiry are available on the Department of Health website.