The Australian Greens have expressed disappointment at the scope of the Terms of Reference for the Aged Care Royal Commission, saying they only capture part of the picture.
Greens spoke spokesperson on Ageing Senator Rachel Siewert said:
“I am concerned that the Royal Commission may further delay urgent reforms to the sector that we have known about for years now.
“Families and the sector has been raising concerns about abuse and neglect, staff training, ACFI cuts and home care packages for a long time. For too long these issues have been thrown in the too hard basket.
“Families and older Australians must have the opportunity during the Royal Commission to share their experience of the sector, but the Royal Commission cannot be a smokescreen for lack of action and ensuring that older Australians get proper care right now.
Disability Rights spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John said it was clear the government had not listened to the disabled community and that this Royal Commission was a missed opportunity for justice.
“Right now there are thousands of at-risk disabled Australians residing in institutional and residential settings that are not only unsuitable, but often dangerous,” Steele-John said.
“There’ve been hundreds of complaints to the National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline since the 2015 inquiry into the violence, abuse and neglect of disabled people in institutional and residential settings.
“This government and the opposition clearly didn’t listen when I read into Parliament the names of those who have died since that 2015 inquiry. How much longer does my community have to wait for justice?
“Whilst I am happy to see the inclusion of young disabled people in nursing homes in the scope of this inquiry, we must be using this process to ensure that we treat young disabled people better, not entrench the provision of their care into the aged care system.
“No young person should be forced to live in a nursing home, and no disabled person should be denied their fundamental human rights or have to live in fear of the people who are supposed to be looking after and supporting them."
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie (Siewert) 0418 401 180
Tim Oliver (Steele-John) 0448 316 387