Date published: 
5 December 2019
Media type: 
Media release
General public

The Morrison Government today successfully secured the passage of the Aged Care Legislation Amendment (New Commissioner Functions) Bill 2019 which strengthens the independent oversight of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, from January 1 2020.

Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians Richard Colbeck said the new laws bolster the Commission through additional regulatory functions and powers ensuring a safer and quality-assured sector.

From January 1, the Commissioner’s role will be expanded to include oversight of:

  • approving all residential and home care providers;
  • aged care compliance and enforcement actions; and
  • the administration of the responsibilities of approved providers to report assaults.

“The Government has delivered on its commitment to strengthen independent oversight across the aged care sector,” Minister Colbeck said.

“Expanding the role of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission gives older Australians and their families a single point of contact and a reassurance their concerns will be responded to.

“The Commissioner will now have the ability to approve providers' entry into aged care, stronger powers to monitor quality of the care and broader responsibility to enforce provider compliance.

“If a provider is not delivering the care older Australians deserve, the Commissioner can impose sanctions, including revoking Commonwealth subsidies.”

The new laws will also give the Commission additional powers to seek information from providers related to their suitability to deliver services and financial management.

The reforms are part of the second stage of the direct response to the findings and recommendations of Ms Kate Carnell AO and Professor Ron Paterson ONZM in the Review of National Aged Care Regulatory Process. The first stage occurred on January 1 this year with the establishment of the Commission and appointment of Ms Janet Anderson PSM as Commissioner.

“It is clear there is more work to do, as the work of the Royal Commission continues,” Minister Colbeck said.

“Transferring the aged care regulatory functions to the Commission will provide the Government with a robust platform from which to respond to its findings and future recommendations.