Wednesday, 26 August 2020
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. The Productivity Commission revealed older Australians with high-care needs in New South Wales are waiting almost three years for a home-care package. Did the Prime Minister's decision to cut $1.7 billion from aged care leave these older Australians better or worse off?
I've already addressed the misleading statement that has been made by those opposite regarding funding and what ABC Fact Check actually demonstrated on issues relating to where there were integrity matters within the aged-care sector, of overpayments. Despite that and those measures that the government introduced, the funding for aged care was increased by $1 billion and has continued to be increased by $1 billion—in fact, more than that—every single year. One of the most significant areas where we've continued to increase funding has been in the area of in-home aged-care places. As I said before, in-home aged-care places, under our government, have risen from around 60,000 when we came to government to over 150,000 now, and we're going to keep increasing those places as we go forward, as we did immediately after we received the interim report of the royal commission, when we immediately put a further 10,000 places into the in-home aged-care network.
We will keep increasing our funding in aged care, in residential aged care and in in-home aged care. I invite those opposite to support those increases and to support the reforms that I believe will be necessary when it comes to aged care in the future, just as we, when we were in opposition, supported the Labor Party. The shadow minister for emissions reduction will recall when he worked with the opposition members at that time to introduce important changes in aged care. I would hope that, when we deal with the royal commission into aged care, we might be able to deal with it in a similarly cooperative fashion and that aged care will not be used for political purposes.