Tasmanian Labor Senator Helen Polley has dismissed the federal government's $106 million announcement to improve aged care facilities as a ploy designed to win the votes of older Australians in the next federal election.
The government will bring forward a budget commitment of $90 million over four years to upgrade regional aged care facilities and retrain the sector’s staff and contribute an additional $16 million to hire 54 more staff for the new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission to police the quality of care in facilities.
Senator Polley said the move would do little to solve the growing crisis in aged care.
“This is another example of the Liberals trying to look like they’re doing more than they actually are,” she said.
"Today’s announcement is a desperate measure to get him through the next election.”
Council on the Aging chief executive Ian Yates said increased transparency and accountability for quality and safety in aged-care facilities was welcome.
“The new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission will for the first time introduce a ‘one-stop cop’ in aged care – bringing together regulation, compliance functions and complaints handling in a single independent body,” he said.
“If implemented correctly will give consumers a single point of contact to raise concerns about any aspect of the quality of care being provided.”
A parliamentary inquiry was launched launched last year into the quality of care in aged-care facilities to gauge the level of mistreatment in these facilities and available consumer protections.