Thursday, 17 February 2022
Statements by Members
I rise today on behalf of the Bombala community who are hurt, angry and frustrated. We've heard recently that we have an aged-care crisis and that the Defence Force has been deployed to help centres get through the pandemic, but the aged-care system has been in crisis for a lot longer than that and this government needs to do more. You've ignored the sector for years, and now this is having real-world consequences, consequences that are disproportionately felt in regional communities like Bombala.
Yesterday, Southern Cross Care announced they'll be closing Currawarna Residential Aged Care in Bombala. I know they didn't make this decision lightly, but due to staff shortages they felt that they could no longer provide the level of care that our residents need and deserve. Residents have been told they're losing their homes. Staff are wondering how they will provide for their families without an income. Family members and the broader community are devastated. The land was gifted by a local family, and the centre was fundraised by local people. Bombala residents choose to live there so they can be close to their families, their loved ones and the community.
Our elders deserve to age with dignity, with respect and in communities that they know and love. I spoke with the aged-care minister today, and I've raised this with our shadow minister. I'll continue to work with all levels of government to find a better solution. The one thing that I know about regional and rural communities is that they are not going to give up without a fight, and I'll be there with them every step of the way.