Wednesday, 26 February 2020
At the request of Senator Keneally, I move:
(1) The Senate notes that:
(a) the Morrison Government has announced that it intends to privatise Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACAT) from April 2021;
(b) the Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians said claimed he is implementing a recommendation from the Tune Review;
(c) the Tune Review made no such recommendation;
(d) the Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians also claimed he is implementing a recommendation from the Royal Commission into the Aged Care Quality and Safety; and
(e) the Royal Commission made no such recommendation.
(2) The Senate condemns the Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians for failing to adequately explain his decision to privatise the ACAT, despite neither the Tune Review nor Royal Commission making any such recommendation.
(3) At 9:30 am on 27 February 2020, before government business is called on, the Senate requires the Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians to attend the Senate to:
(a) provide an explanation as to why the Morrison Government is continuing with its tender of ACAT services despite the fact the Royal Commission has stated that it has yet to make recommendations about which sector or mechanism should deliver ACAT-type services; and
(b) that a senator may, at the conclusion of the explanation, move without notice, that the Senate take note of the explanation.
by leave—I move:
(1) At the end of the motion, add:
"(4) Any motion under paragraph (3) may be debated for no longer than 75 minutes, and senators may speak to the motion for not more than 10 minutes each."
Question agreed to.
The government has not made a decision to privatise aged-care assessments. It's disappointing that claims to that effect by the opposition are misleading the community and the parliament. The government made a commitment in the 2018-19 budget to create a single assessment workforce for aged care in line with the 2017 Tune review recommendation No. 27 which states, 'That the government integrate regional assessment services with aged care assessment teams.' The government rejects the false claims by Labor about consultation. In fact, there have been several rounds of consultation with states following the Tune review recommendation. The government remains committed to creating a better experience for senior Australians entering aged care.
One Nation stands opposed to the privatisation of aged care assessment teams, or ACAT. I have spoken directly with the Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians. I have been given an ironclad guarantee by Minister Colbeck that the Morrison government has no desire to privatise ACAT. I commend Senator Keneally for her bipartisan stance with One Nation against the privatisation of government services. I encourage her to speak directly with the minister and, if need be, get his assurances in writing. One Nation will not squander the Senate's time tomorrow by calling for a further explanation from the minister. If the government's actions change, you will have my full support in calling them out.