AGED CARE WORKFORCE INQUIRY PERTH HEARING

The Senate Community Affairs References Committee’s inquiry into the future of Australia’s aged care sector workforce will be in Perth today.

Labor successfully negotiated to reconstitute this inquiry into the future of Australia’s aged care sector workforce which lapsed after the first hearing in Melbourne in April as a result of the 2016 federal election.

Today Shadow Assistant Minister for Ageing, Senator Helen Polley will question and hear evidence from unions, professors, health care professionals and service providers.

Unfortunately the West Australian Government has pulled certain witnesses from the inquiry at the last minute, which is particularly disappointing given WA Labor's positive plan for aged care announced yesterday.

Senator Polley says she looks forward to finding out why the West Australian Government had done this.

"On the face of it, it looks like the Government is trying to hide something", Senator Polley said.

The 296 submissions to the inquiry received by the Committee have already provided compelling evidence surrounding:   

  • The impact of the Government’s cuts to aged care
  • The current composition of the aged care workforce
  • Future workforce requirements
  • The interaction of aged care workforce needs with the disability sector
  • Challenges in attracting and retaining aged care staff
  • Particular aged care challenges in regional towns and remote communities

Aged care workforce development is one of the biggest challenges facing the sector and is not an optional policy area for the Turnbull Government.

Turnbull Government is continuing to live up to its shameful reputation of ignoring aged care workforce issues as it did during the 2016 Federal Election, and has failed to provide any new funding or a plan to ensure Australia’s aged care workforce can meet the demands of a rapidly ageing population.

To date, the only things Malcolm Turnbull and his Liberals have offered to older Australians are over $3 billion in cuts to aged care and dementia services, cuts to Medicare, cuts to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, cuts to hospitals and cuts to the pension.