About the new Aged Care Act

We are building a new Aged Care Act. It will respond to the issues facing older people, aged care providers, workers, and the broader sector. It will put the rights and needs of older people at the centre of the aged care system.

About the new Act

Currently, aged care is governed under many aged care laws. We are building a new Aged Care Act which will replace the:

The new Act aims to improve the ways services are delivered to older people in:

  • their homes
  • community settings
  • approved residential aged care homes.

It will:

The new Act will be introduced to Parliament in 2024, with a further amendment Bill introduced to establish the Support at Home program to start in 2025.

Why the new Act is important

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety found that the Aged Care Act and its related legislation is no longer fit for purpose. This is because it is structured around providers and how to fund them, rather than around the people accessing services and what they need.

The new rights-based Act will put older people who need aged care at the centre of the system.

Read more about what a rights-based Act means for you.

The new Act will provide the framework for fundamental change within the aged care sector, and will deliver:

  • responses to 33 Royal Commission recommendations that rely on legislation
  • new protections for whistleblowers
  • increased penalties for providing poor quality care
  • enhanced regulatory powers for the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission and us.

The new Act will also build on priority aged care reforms that have already been delivered.

How we are developing the new Act

We are making fundamental changes to Australia’s aged care system in response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

Supporting legislation is needed to implement more than 50 of the 148 recommendations of the Royal Commission.

We amended existing aged care legislation so that we could act early on some of the recommendations. We have already delivered some priority aged care reforms, with more under way.

The new Aged Care Act will support the broader reforms to the aged care system.

See our reforms roadmap for a full timeline of proposed reforms.

The legislative changes so far

Aged Care and Other Legislation Amendment (Royal Commission Response No. 1) Act 2021

This Act amended legislation to:

Read more information in the Act’s explanatory memorandum (PDF, 1MB).

Aged Care and Other Legislation Amendment (Royal Commission Response) Act 2022

This Act responded to 17 recommendations of the Royal Commission, enabling:

Read more in the Act’s explanatory memorandum (PDF, 4MB).

Aged Care Amendment (Implementing Care Reform) Act 2022

This Act responded to 2 Royal Commission recommendations and implemented the Government’s election commitments to:

  • improve integrity and accountability for residential aged care homes
  • ban exit fees and cap administrative and management charges in the Home Care Packages Program
  • require a registered nurse to be on site and on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in every residential aged care home.

It also introduced mandatory reporting that requires us to publish additional provider information for greater transparency. This includes information on provider spending on:

  • care
  • nursing
  • food
  • maintenance
  • cleaning
  • administration
  • profits.

Read more in the Act’s explanatory memorandum (PDF, 1MB).

Who will be affected

The new Act will affect everyone connected to the aged care system, including:

  • older people, their families and carers
  • aged care providers
  • aged care workers
  • the broader care sector
  • the Government agencies responsible for supporting, delivering, regulating and overseeing the aged care system, including:

Who we work with

To make sure the new Act reflects the needs of older people, we are working and consulting with:

What the new Act will mean for you

The new Aged Care Act will impact everyone connected to aged care.

It will empower older people to exercise their rights when accessing, or seeking to access, Government-funded aged care services. It will support them to live active, self-determined and meaningful lives as they age.

Providers will need to register to deliver Government-funded aged care services. They will need to comply with a set of obligations, including conditions on their registration. They will need to do this even where they subcontract the delivery of services.

Separate obligations will apply to:

  • aged care workers and responsible people of registered providers
  • operators of digital platforms that facilitate access to services.

Read about:

Have your say

We have already consulted with the public and key stakeholders on the foundations of the new Act.

We are holding another round of consultation to encourage people to have their say on the exposure draft of the Bill for a new Aged Care Act.

Read more about our consultation on the new Act.

Contact

Aged care legislative reform contact

Contact us if you have any questions or feedback on the development of the new Aged Care Act.
Date last updated:

Help us improve health.gov.au

If you would like a response please use the enquiries form instead.