Today the Federal Government will introduce two Aged Care Bills, delivering on election commitments in relation to 24/7 nurses, more time for carers to care, transparency of funding and capping home care administration fees.
Following years of campaigning by United Workers Union (UWU) members in aged care, the decision of the incoming Labor Government to prioritise these reforms is a victory for the hard work and persistence of aged care union members across the country.
Australia’s aged care workers have held up a broken system through the darkest days of the pandemic and their commitment to resident care and advocacy for quality, dignified care for older Australians has been on display for the whole country to see.
Prior to the election, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told Australia that fixing Aged Care was a Labor priority and the introduction of these reforms demonstrates this governments commitment to reform.
UWU welcomes this legislative reform which is now being delivered amongst the first pieces of legislation introduced in the first sitting of the new parliament.
Comments attributable to UWU Executive Director for Aged Care Carolyn Smith:
“Aged care members have been crying out for reform of the aged care sector for the better part of a decade and I am sure they will welcome that this legislation has been introduced in the first sitting week of the new Government.”
“For many years our members have shared the harrowing stories of a broken system, through the Royal Commission, through walk-offs, and through directly speaking to politicians.
“We are confident that this government recognises the vital role aged care workers play, and those workers voices are the key to the resolution of the crisis in the sector and our members and are ready to work with the Albanese Labor Government to build an aged care system older Australians can have faith in.
“Aged care Workers are the guardians of quality aged care, and are proud that the change they have campaigned for is coming to fruition.
“The United Workers Union looks forward to working closely with the Government to help deliver the care our elderly Australians deserve.”
Comments attributable to Mandy Smith, Aged Care worker
“Having more time to care means I can finally give the sort of quality care to my residents that they deserve. And I don’t have to go home feeling exhausted and guilty about all the ways they missed out”
Comments attributable to Emma Bowers, Aged Care worker
“I was attacked when working alone at night in a high care dementia ward. I was trying to lead the violent resident away from vulnerable residents and ended up being a victim myself. Having more staff will make aged care safer for the staff and for the residents.”
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