Aged care crisis: too important for playing politics

Wednesday 1st May, 2013

The Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) and United Voice (UV) will join forces to brief the Australian Government Senate Inquiry today on the importance of the Government reforms to improve the quality care for older Australians.

ANF Assistant Federal Secretary, Yvonne Chaperon said: “The ANF welcomes the Gillard Government’s recognition of the importance of Australia’s aged care sector and the people who work in it by the introduction of this crucial $1.2 billion wages funding package of industry reforms.

“This funding will deliver quality care for older, vulnerable Australians – that’s why it is crucial that Parliament passes this Legislation.

“The ANF looks forward to the opportunity to provide today’s Senate inquiry with evidence of how this wages reform will benefit vulnerable Australians living in aged care facilities.”

United Voice National President, Michael Crosby, said: “Last minute opposition by some employers to the Workforce Supplement in the Legislation threatens to scuttle the long overdue reforms.

Australia’s 350,000 aged care workforce needs to grow to 1,000,000 by 2050. The evidence is overwhelming: this cannot happen without Government funding of wages.

“The choice is stark: Parliament can pass the whole legislative package or they can allow the crisis in ageing to deteriorate, sentencing growing numbers of older Australia’s to inadequate care in the last years of their lives.

“After 10 years of campaigning by the sector for solutions to the aged care crisis some employer groups are at the 11th hour opposing the Workforce Supplement for what can only be seen as short term political expedience.”

The unions welcome the Government's recognition of the importance of the aged care sector and of the people who work in it by introducing a package of reforms that will enhance the care of our elderly citizens and improve the working lives of aged care workers.

Who: Michael Crosby, National President, United Voice, and Yvonne Chaperon, Assistant Federal Secretary, Australian Nursing Federation
What: Inquiry into the Aged Care (Living Longer Living Better) Bill 2013, and associated legislation Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs
When: 9am TODAY Thursday 2 May 2013
Where: Committee Room 2S1, Parliament House, Canberra
Contact: ANF: Richard Lenarduzzi on 0411 254 390 United Voice: Nada Vlatko – 0425 242 691

Editor’s note: Yvonne Chaperon and Michael Crosby are available for interview.