Tasmanian Labor Senator Helen Polley has gladly accepted the role of Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Aged Care.
“I have a long held passion for aged care policy and making sure that older Australians receive the care and support they need, I want to help shine a spotlight on numerous issues that I believe receive insufficient attention in the media,” Senator Polley said.
Senator Polley noted that Labor has a proud history in delivering results for older Australians and that the Government needs to be held to account to ensure that improvements in aged care continue.
“Achieving passage of the Living Longer Living Better reforms was a proud day for Labor and more importantly a proud day for all those concerned about the future of aged care in Australia. Living Longer Living Better is about allowing older Australians to have more choice and control in accessing the range of services they need.
“It is part of a decade long plan to significantly improve a system which, in many respects, isn’t quite equipped to help older Australians. I certainly hope that the Abbott Government realises the importance of constantly improving aged care in Australia, we will be watching them closely,” Senator Polley said.
Aged care policy is particularly important to people living in Senator Polley’s home state of Tasmania, which has a high percentage of older Australian residents.
“Tasmania’s population is the oldest in the country and ageing faster than any other state or territory. It is one of the many reasons why Tasmanians were so grateful that Labor succeeded in passing the Living Longer Living Better package,” Senator Polley said.
Senator Polley also plans to use her new position to speak widely on palliative care.
“I have been saying for many years now that we should always be looking closely at options for improving palliative care in Australia. Older Australians deserve to spend their last days living comfortably and with dignity. There is absolutely no reason Australia should not aspire to have the most efficient and well-funded palliative care system in the world.”