Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), the voice of aged care, has today congratulated Senator Richard Colbeck on his appointment as Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians and says making aged care better must be an urgent priority for the Morrison Government.

LASA CEO Sean Rooney said, “Minister Colbeck brings to the role fresh eyes along with a wide breadth of professional and parliamentary experiences at a critical time for Australia’s aged care system.

“The Prime Minister says that he wants to build a culture of respect for older Australians and we back that commitment 100 per cent.”

Mr Rooney said urgent action must focus on the fundamentals that will drive improvement in the quality, accessibility and sustainability of age services across the sector.

“Our industry is looking to Minister Colbeck and Prime Minister Morrison to address the following priorities as a matter of urgency:

  • fixing the funding emergency in residential care and commit to ensuring funding meets the growing costs of delivering high quality care
  • fixing the unacceptable impact on older Australians by legislating maximum wait times of no more than three months for home care services
  • investing in workforce growth and development, and
  • developing a comprehensive national ageing well strategy.

“This Government must commit to urgent action to address these issues if we are to meet the changing needs and expectations of the growing numbers of older Australians.

“Our sector stands ready to work with Minister Colbeck and the Morrison Government to deliver a world class aged care system.  This starts with ensuring they act to address the urgent issues affecting older Australians and the organisations that care for and support them.

“While the important work of the Royal Commission continues, we must get on with the job of making the system better right now.

“I look forward to meeting with Minister Colbeck as quickly as possible and getting down to work on this critical agenda for our nation,” Sean Rooney said.

Mr Rooney also acknowledged the contribution of the former Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care, the Member for Hasluck, Ken Wyatt.

“Minister Wyatt worked tirelessly to press ahead with the reform agenda in aged care.  His contribution to aged care reform has been tangible and credible.  Our industry wishes him well in his new role as Minister for Indigenous Australians.”