Labor's Tasmania Taskforce aged care consultation

Joint media release with the Hon. Shayne Neumann, Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Shadow Minister for Ageing, Member for Blair.

Federal Labor’s Tasmanian Taskforce was in Launceston today to address the future of aged care and services in Tasmania.

Federal Shadow Minister for Ageing, Shayne Neumann, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Aged Care, Senator Helen Polley and Federal Labor candidate for Bass, Ross Hart met with key stakeholders in aged care and services for older people as part of the Tasmanian Taskforce, launched by Bill Shorten, to produce a clear and coherent strategy to ensure future growth and vitality in Tasmania.

“Tasmania has the highest proportion of older people in Australia, which presents unique challenges as well as opportunities,” Mr Neumann said.

“Labor is intent on hearing from Tasmanians and working with the aged care and services sector to ensure older Tasmanians can live in the place of their choosing with the services and support they need and deserve.

“The provision of appropriate aged care services is vital to making that happen but what we have heard is that it is difficult to attract and retain workers.

“Those pressures will increase, with another 5,000 aged care workers needed over the next 20 years just to keep up with demand.”

Senator Polley said older Tasmanians and their carers will be placed at risk unless the Abbott Government addresses the workforce issues immediately.

“The Abbott Government has failed to boost the Tasmanian economy and has made it more difficult for the aged care and services sector,” Senator Polley said.

“To date Tony Abbott has taken an axe to workforce measures, including abolishing the $1.2 billion Aged Care Workforce Supplement and a nasty $40 million cut to aged care workforce measures without any strategic follow-up or investment.

“We are still waiting for the aged care workforce strategy, promised by the Abbott Government last year.

“In contrast, Labor takes the ageing of our population seriously and we will work with Tasmanians to leverage the opportunities and meet the needs of older Tasmanians.”

The Tasmania Taskforce will hold forums in Hobart, Launceston and around the region to drive conversations for change.

Public submissions are open until 31 August 2015: http://www.alp.org.au/tasmaniantaskforce