Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), the voice of aged care, welcomes the Government’s announcement that the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety will be extended for another six months.

Aged Care Minister Senator Richard Colbeck released a statement yesterday saying the Government had agreed to a request by the Royal Commission for a six month extension to continue to hear evidence from Australians and conduct its deliberations.

The Minister also welcomed the appointment of an additional Commissioner, The Hon Gaetano Pagone QC.

LASA CEO Sean Rooney says the extra time will allow for a deeper investigation of the many complex issues in aged care and their solutions.  However, there are a number of critical issues facing the sector that must be addressed now.

“The aged care sector fully supports the Royal Commission’s hearings, roundtable discussions and consultation around the country,” Mr Rooney said.

“This is a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to make the aged care system better for all older Australians, now and into the future, and we must get it right.

”However, we cannot delay action on making the aged care system better right now, by addressing the key issues of access to services, funding of services, quality of services and supporting the workforce that delivers these services.

“Our Members are telling us that their ability to consistently deliver high standards of care and service that older Australians expect and deserve are being constrained by continued financial pressure.

“Many organisations are likely to reduce services, reduce staffing and/or reduce investment without funding relief.

“Urgent action – before Christmas this year – is required to avert the increasing risk of service failures, job losses and missed care while the Royal Commission considers longer term reforms.

“The sector seeks to work with Government as a matter of urgency so we can ensure the delivery of high standards of care and services.

“We all want a safe, high quality and high performing aged care system. Older Australians need it and older Australians deserve nothing less.”

About Leading Age Services Australia (LASA)

LASA is the national association for all providers of age services across residential care, home care and retirement living/seniors housing. Our purpose is to enable high performing, respected, and sustainable age services that support older Australians to age well by providing care, support and accommodation with quality, safety and compassion – always.

We represent providers of age services of all types and sizes located across Australia’s metropolitan, regional and rural areas. Consistent with the overall industry profile, 57% of our Members are not-for-profit providers, 33% are for-profit providers and 10% are government providers.

Our diverse and representative membership gives LASA the ability to speak with credibility and authority on issues of importance to older Australians and the age services industry.

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Media Contact: David O’Sullivan Ph 0427 138 024  E davido@lasa.asn.au