Thursday, 12 November 2020
Matters of Public Importance
When people look back on the Morrison government, they're going to talk about the tale of two governments: one of glossy press releases and great announcements that look really great and the other of appalling, abysmal delivery or, even worse, no delivery at all—an announcement and then nothing.
If you want a really good example of that, just look at aged care. I'm going to talk first about home care. Around 100,000 to 120,000 people are on the waiting list for home care. I've been sitting in this House, year after year, listening to budget after budget, where they announce new places for home care, and the waiting list doesn't go down. So what is going on here? The reason is that it's an announcement with no delivery. Minister Hunt said the government had provided an additional 50,000 home-care packages since the 2018-19 budget at a cost of more than $3 billion, so the waiting list should have gone down. But then the royal commission reveals that, in fact, it's not 50,000 new home-care packages; it's 300. Announcement, 50,000; reality, 300. What a difference. Great announcement; appalling, abysmal delivery. Yet we've got people out there waiting for home-care packages and many people have died while waiting, and this government is making announcements that make people feel that something might change when it won't.
In the most recent budget, we see another announcement: an additional 23,000 packages. Let's hope they're right. Let me assume for a minute that, contrary to all past experience, they government are actually going to deliver. Let's look at what it actually is: 23,000 packages over four years. Only 2,000 of them are level 4—that is, 2,000 of them are the ones that stop a person from going into aged care. Two thousand packages over four years—that's 500 a year. Assume for a minute—again, not what usually happens—that they're evenly spread across electorates and the government don't pork-barrel the Liberal electorates. Let's assume that. That means 14 new level 4 packages over four years—that's three a year—for Parramatta. That's actually what they have announced. Yes, do the maths. I can see the members over there questioning it—get your little calculator out on your mobile phone and do the maths! You've announced—