Wednesday, 30 March 2022
Aged Care and Other Legislation Amendment (Royal Commission Response No. 2) Bill 2021; Second Reading
We'll start with the circulated second reading amendments. The first question is that second reading amendment on sheet 1484 revised, circulated by the Australian Greens, be agreed to.
Australian Greens ' circulated amendment—
At the end of the motion, add ", but:
(a) the Senate affirms the importance of implementing the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety;
(b) the Senate notes that:
(i) the aged care sector is in crisis due to this government's failure to support aged care residents, providers and workers,
(ii) the Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services and the Prime Minister have refused to characterise this as a crisis, despite the number of deaths occurring on a daily basis,
(iii) the government has failed to support the case for a 25 per cent pay increase for aged care workers, which would provide the support they need and deserve, and
(iv) the government has failed to ensure that allied health services receive the funding they deserve to support aged care residents; and
(c) the Senate calls on the government to respond to the crisis in the aged care sector with the urgency that is required.
The second question is that second reading amendment on sheet 1497, circulated by the opposition, be agreed to.
Opposition 's circulated amendment—
At the end of the motion, add ", but the Senate:
(a) notes the:
(i) systemic, ongoing failures in Australia's aged care system as evidenced by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and 21 other expert reports since 2013,
(ii) inadequacy of the Government's response to the Royal Commission, including an unclear plan for reform implementation and deferred and curtailed legislative action on key issues including, but not limited to, transparency on the use of public aged care funding by aged care providers, and
(iii) Government's failures in providing safe, secure and high-quality care for aged care residents due to their historic cuts and poor management of the aged care sector; and
(b) acknowledges the:
(i) significant issues and concerns raised with the bill by stakeholders including providers, unions and the advocates of older Australians,
(ii) particular concerns raised about the consequences of this bill on the ability for aged care providers to recruit and retain staff to provide safe and quality care to older Australians,
(iii) Government's lack of action to recruit and retain workers to resolve the growing aged care workforce shortage crisis, and
(iv) foundation of any successful reform in the aged care sector must include ensuring there are more workers and that those workers are better paid; and
(c) calls on the Government to urgently address the growing aged care workforce shortage to ensure that older Australians receive the safe and quality care they deserve".
The Senate transcript was published up to 21:00.
Production of the Senate Hansard has been impacted by tonight's late rising of the Senate
The remainder will be available electronically on the afternoon of Thursday, 31 March 2022 .