Senate debates

Friday, 17 November 2023

Statements by Senators

Aged Care

1:36 pm

Photo of Richard ColbeckRichard Colbeck (Tasmania, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

After the 2019 election, when I was appointed to the aged-care portfolio, the number of home-care packages in Australia was projected to reach 157,000 by June 2023. The waiting time for a home-care package was then 12 to 24 months. The then government made significant investments in home-care packages, to the extent that by June 2023 the number of home-care packages in the market was to get to 275,600, fully funded. That would be an addition of 118,600 packages. By the time we got to the May election last year, the waiting time for anyone with a high-needs package was down from 12 to 24 months to less than 30 days. By the last quarter of 2022, the waiting time for a package at any level was 30 to 90 days. Can you imagine my dismay to see that this year the waiting time for a home-care package at any level has blown out to 90 to 180 days? It has gone from 30 to 90 days to 90 to 180 days at all levels. Where is the outrage? Where are the questions that were asked of me about people dying on waiting lists? Where are the inquiries from the media, who have said nothing? Mr Albanese said that he would put the 'care' back into 'aged care', but does he really care?