Jul 09, 2019

“I am consulting widely and intend to be hands on”, says new Aged Care Minister

Aged care touches the lives of so many Australians directly and indirectly, and most families will have an experience with aged care services.

As the new Minister, I am focused on ensuring that our record funding enables senior Australians to access the care and services that they need so that they are able to live their lives in the way that they wish to and deserve.

Delivering on the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety will be a vital part of this.

Having worked in a number of local residential care facilities as a building contractor prior to entering Parliament, I have watched changes in both service provision and community expectations over both my time in the Parliament and before, including changes in facility design standards and the increasing demand for and provision of in-home services.

The reality is that change has been a factor in this sector for a considerable period, driven by community expectations and a Government focus on quality. I expect that will continue, however I am very aware of the pressures those changes have placed on the system.

Meeting the expectations of Australians requiring aged care services will be the continued focus of the Government, including the development of residential aged care, and support to allow senior Australians to be cared for in their own homes.

There are clearly some issues that need to be dealt with properly and we must improve to ensure that the Australian community can have confidence that their loved ones are receiving a high standard of service and respect.

I see the Royal Commission as an opportunity to identify ways to achieve that improvement and look forward to their recommendations. The Government will also continue to roll out reforms already announced.

The new Aged Care Quality Standards and Charter of Rights were rolled out on 1 July – these are important milestones on Australia’s road to continuing to improve aged care for seniors.

Delivering on our election commitments of establishing an Aged Care Workforce Research Centre and investing in measures to reduce loneliness among senior Australians are also a priority.

I am consulting widely across the country to identify the challenges and opportunities that exist within aged care and I intend to be hands on in this ongoing process.

Lead photo: The Hon Richard Colbeck. Image: The Senior.

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  1. So The Hon Richard Colbreck was a building contractor? Forgive me for feeling negative here but it seems alot of the people on the payroll of large Aged Care corporations have the same background either in construction or real estate. I know aged care is not a charity and you would be smart to hire the right people to get the best $ outcome but I would have thought such an important roll would surely be offered to a person with a background in community care with medical experience. If someone is going to advocate and represent our most vulnerable I personally would be checking to see if he has done the hard yards in this area first and foremost! Why was a woman not chosen for this job since 90% of women work in the Aged Care and Community sector on less than $23.00 an hour? Just another job for the boys! I see who runs the show for the company I work for and they are the same people like our Hon Richard Colbreck. Don’t expect more staff, don’t expect better conditions and the hiring of more suitable people to care for our elderly. It’s all about profits and that is the bottom line. Business as usual boys? Am I right?

  2. Will the new minister for Aged Care actually read all the stories from HelloCare and take onboard all the valuable and important information given by so many in the community? Will all the valuable experiences of relatives and staff be taken seriously? Great care for our elderly starts from the top. Look after your employees, pay them a fair wage and you will attract better staff. And that will be a win for our elderly. Alot of people end up seeking assistance from Aged Care in one way or another no matter how important or wealthy they were. We need to make this work now! But not to make it worse for staff where inept bosses threaten and intimidate their work force this does not work for a healthy business to flourish. This negative treatment not only effects staff with stress leave and sick days and staff leaving all the time. It effects the very people we want to care for. They are the end result! Choose the right people to work in this field, employ more qualified staff that actually want to make a positive change and for goodness sake know all your staff! No more bullying! Oust it!! Nurture your staff! The payback will be seen in time. Nobody will want to leave their job! I would love to see people lining up for a placement due to all the positive and transparent information they would have at their fingertips. Am I dreaming?

  3. Senator Colbeck embarrassed Tasmanians with his disgraceful and inept handling of aged care questions in the Senate hearings. Colbeck showed he is not across his portfolio – what he is across is swanning around AFL games , costing taxpayers thousands of dollars. Here was a chance for a minister to grab his portfolio by the throat and put and end to the suffering of aged people forced to live in deplorable conditions. I am ashamed to say i voted for this guy – never again.

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