Senate debates

Thursday, 10 February 2022

Questions without Notice

Aged Care

3:00 pm

Photo of Richard ColbeckRichard Colbeck (Tasmania, Liberal Party, Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services) Share this | Hansard source

Firstly I say to Jess: thank you for the work that you do in residential aged care in this country. It's really important. I don't think I can count the number of times I've expressed my gratitude and thanks to the aged-care workforce and appreciation for the work that they do.

An opposition senator: But not a wage rise!

Senator, on four occasions now we've provided bonus payments. We've provided bonus payments on four occasions now to senior Australians. The Labor Party chatter on about a pay rise for aged-care workers but they don't acknowledge that they won't put a number on it themselves. They expect that the Australian government will do it, but in opposition they're not prepared to say or do anything. They say that it's a job for the independent Fair Work Commission, which they legislated. There is so much hypocrisy on that side of the chamber in relation to this.

I thank Jess for the work that she does—I really do. I know that it's a tough job and I appreciate the work that she continues to do. We will continue to work with the sector, and with Fair Work Australia as the case progresses in relation to workforce wages. We'll provide the information that Fair Work Australia seeks and support them in that process.


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