Senate debates

Tuesday, 2 August 2022


Aged Care

1:32 pm

Photo of Helen PolleyHelen Polley (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise to speak on the importance of stemming the staff shortages currently plaguing the aged-care sector and on why the delivery of a Community Care TASMANIA training and respite centre in Launceston will work to ease these pressures.

Labor looks forward to providing $2.8 million in funding for the project, as we believe it's important now—more than ever—to improve service delivery of respite care, and education for aged-care and disability workers. This funding will allow for training alongside respite services, with an additional 55 support workers completing their certificate II and III in aged care and disability care every year. Trainees will learn on the job and will be job-ready much quicker. The service is open 24/7 and will add to the capacity of care in the state in the form of 35,000 hours of day respite per year. It will also take pressure off Launceston General Hospital by freeing up more beds and ensuring Tasmanians can receive medical care when they need it most from well-trained carers and health professionals.

Thanks to the CEO of Community Care TASMANIA, Wendy Mitchell, and her team, this project is already underway. I will work closely with the Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon. Mark Butler, to ensure that it is delivered on time and in full.

After a decade of neglect under the Liberals, it is time to give older Australians what they deserve. This centre, along with our commitment to put a nurse on site 24/7 in all aged-care homes, as well as giving carers more time to care, backing a pay rise for aged-care workers, implementing new food standards and increasing transparency in the sector, will see a meaningful reform to this sector.

The Albanese government has given this commitment. We will give older Australians the care and dignity they deserve.