House debates

Tuesday, 21 March 2023

Statements by Members

Aged Care

1:47 pm

Photo of Sam BirrellSam Birrell (Nicholls, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise to speak about aged care and at-home aged care. I note public comments from the aged-care minister that she won't be kicking down doors on 1 July to enforce mandatory 24/7 registered nursing care. Finally there is some recognition that you can't magic highly qualified nurses into existence. Finally those opposite are acknowledging that, in regional Australia, the pool of qualified people does not exist. In my electorate, small low-care nursing homes are being rendered unviable. Elderly residents are not able to live out their days in their own community. Large providers are dozens of registered nurses short of meeting the reform targets.

Care facilities are worried about how the inability to recruit nurses will impact their star rating, and people in my electorate on home-care packages are unable to get the help they need because of lack of providers and staff. Given the aged-care minister's acknowledgement of the workforce challenges, why isn't the Albanese government investing in a great project we've got? If you want to do something positive, invest in the Goulburn Valley clinical health school. I've been asking for this. La Trobe University have been asking for it. Goulburn Valley Health have been asking for it. It's there. It will train heaps of nurses. We're ready to get on with training the nurses, midwives and allied health staff that my region needs. So, instead of saying, 'What did you do?', we've got a project on the table. Work together and help us fund it.