Wednesday, 26 August 2020
Questions without Notice
Once again, I reject the assertion that is made by those opposite, because aged-care funding under our government has increased by $1 billion every year. In fact, it's more than that; it's $1.2 billion each year.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to respond to the member's question and I added further to the answer in relation to Kalyna Care and what led to that outbreak and the actions the government took in relation to that outbreak. I can provide further details to the member, should he wish to receive them, outside of the chamber, because I won't delay the chamber with the extensive information we have in relation to that particular facility.
In all cases, we will continue to increase our support and funding for aged-care facilities, be they residential aged-care facilities, as required, or in-home care facilities. We will continue to increase the number of places available and continue to invest in expanding the workforce in the aged-care sector, where there are significant demands. The demands will only grow, as will be the case for the disability-care sector, where we have to build a very big and very substantial workforce.
One of the things we're doing right now is ensuring that, as we are going through this COVID-19 recession and this COVID-19 crisis, we will be using those places that we have available and that we're creating through the JobTrainer program, which the minister was just referring to, to train more and more people to be able to move from one sector where they might be working now. In fact, many of those working in the hospitality side of the aviation sector are being retrained to go and work in the care sector, whether that be in the aged-care sector or the disability-care sector. There'll be opportunities as we go even through the difficult processes of a recession to see more workers go into the areas of employment that will be available in aged care as well as in-home care and disability care. It will be a key demand for people to come into those jobs and provide that support. We will continue to pursue those strategies to address the very issues that the royal commission have already started to identify. As they identify other issues and as their recommendations come forward, we will be able to consider those fully in the budget for next year. In the meantime, the Treasurer, when he hands down the budget in October, will also be addressing even more pressing and immediate needs in the aged-care sector, as we have already done so in relation to COVID, with more than $1 billion already committed in our COVID response to aged care.