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Monday, August 15, 2022

Aged care law first to pass new parliament

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Laws responding to the recommendations of the aged care royal commission have become the first to pass parliament under the new Labor Government.

The legislation amends the aged care funding model and introduces new reporting and transparency requirements.

It responds to 17 recommendations of the royal commission’s final report.

The royal commission response bill was introduced by the former Morrison Government before lapsing at the federal election and being reinstated when parliament resumed last week. 

With today’s passage of the Royal Commission Response Bill, the Government has taken a significant step to ensure older Australians receive the care, dignity and respect they deserve.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese

“The final report of the aged care royal commission was titled ‘Care, Dignity and Respect’,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said in a statement.

“Those three little words are the least we can provide our older Australians who built this country.

“With today’s passage of the Royal Commission Response Bill, the Government has taken a significant step to ensure older Australians receive the care, dignity and respect they deserve.

Albanese said having an aged care bill in response to that royal commission become the first to pass through Parliament shows how seriously his Government takes reform in the sector.

“I made promises to the Australian people to improved aged care and inside our first ten weeks we have begun delivering on those promises,” he said.

We made a promise to Australians that we would take better care of their loved ones and the fact the first bill being passed through the 47th Parliament helps reform aged care shows how determined we are to improve the sector

Aged care minister, Anika Wells

“The Labor Government is committed to improving the care and support of our older Australians. This bill will usher in a new standard of respect.”

Minister for aged care, Anika Wells, said the bill illustrates how serious the new Government is about the sector.

“We made a promise to Australians that we would take better care of their loved ones and the fact the first bill being passed through the 47th Parliament helps reform aged care shows how determined we are to improve the sector,” she said.

“After nine years of neglect, reform in aged care has finally begun and will continue to be driven so our most vulnerable people are treated with the dignity they deserve.

“The task to reform aged care will take years but this bill passing is a critical first step.”

Labor minister Murray Watt agreed.

“I just want to reflect on the symbolism of this bill,” he told the Senate.

“It’s really notable this is the piece of government business that the Senate is dealing with as its first order of business.

“Again, it indicates the importance of putting in place a decent, well funded, well regulated aged care systems for our older Australians. 

“(It’s) nothing less than they deserve.”

The Government has also introduced legislation in the upper house to have a nurse in aged care homes at all times.

Further aged care reforms will be introduced in 2023.

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