A Shorten Labor Government will appoint a Minister for Ageing and develop a National Strategy for an Ageing Australia to ensure Australia becomes an age-friendly nation.
For Australia to realise the opportunities and meet the challenges presented by an ageing population, Government action is needed.
An age-friendly Australia needs to:
- Have a whole-of-Government approach, under the direction of a dedicated Minister for Ageing
- Promote and support active ageing
- Undertake an independent, transparent and thorough review of the aged care reforms, with a focus on funding models;
- Develop an aged care workforce strategy.
The Liberals see our ageing population as a burden rather than an opportunity.
They have not appointed a Minister for Ageing.
They have seen aged care as nothing but a savings option – cutting its funding in each of their Budgets – most recently $1.2 billion in the 2016 Budget.
Labor sees things very differently.
In 2012, Labor delivered one of the biggest reforms to aged care and ageing in a generation – the $3.7 billion, ten-year strategy known as the Living Longer, Living Better (LLLB) aged care package.
These reforms were designed to build a fairer, more sustainable and nationally consistent aged care system to meet the challenges of an ageing population.
Today, these reforms are delivering choice, easier access and better care for older Australians, their families and carers, while ensuring the aged care and services industry is equipped to deal with the dramatic growth in our ageing population.
But there is more to do.
A Shorten Labor Government will:
- Address ongoing problems in the My Aged Care gateway in the first 100 days of Government, in consultation with the aged care sector, consumers and medical and allied health providers.
- Conduct an independent review of the LLLB reforms with a view to moving to greater flexibility, choice and consumer control by 1 July 2017, with a particular focus on the Aged Care Funding Instrument, following concerns raised by the sector and growing costs in this area.
- Work with the aged care sector and unions to ensure we can meet the challenges of the increasing need for aged care workers, as well as career progression and conditions for this low paid and predominantly female workforce.
- Establish the Active Ageing Fund to support programs to reduce the risk of dementia, prevent falls, improve physical activities and healthy lifestyles - enabling older Australians to age well in their own communities, at home and at work.
Labor believes that longer lives are one of the greatest achievements of the 20th Century, and that longevity will define the 21st Century.
Labor is committed to ensuring that Australia becomes an age-friendly nation.
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