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Senate passes Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Bill but rejects human rights based approach

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Bill 2018 has today passed the Senate with Government amendments addressing concerns raised by the Greens and stakeholders during the committee process.

“While the Greens supported the Bill and were pleased to see the Government amend it, we are disappointed that some important areas remain unaddressed, such as specifically referencing older Australian’s human rights and reporting on staff numbers, Senator Rachel Siewert said.

“I am pleased that the Minister has addressed some of the concerns I raised during the committee process through their amendments.

“The bill now makes reference to a Chief Clinical Advisor, which was previously only  mentioned in the second reading speech of the Minster. It is essential that role is part of the legislation. 

“Government amendment eight went some way to addressing our concerns regarding making information publicly available regarding service providers. There needs to be as much transparency as possible, the industry is too opaque.

“Unfortunately our amendment to ensure that information relating to staff is made publicly available was not supported. We know that staffing is a huge issue in the aged care sector and families and older Australians should be able to see what is on offer from providers and the skills and training they have.

“Government amendment one and two addressed the concerns raised in our additional comments that the consumer engagement functions include reference to representatives of consumers. This will ensure that the views of representatives of aged care consumers are taken into account amd ensure that all consumers are able to paricipate in this process. 

“I’m disappointed that the ALP did not support the Greens amendment to include human rights into the bill. There is a distinct lack of reference to the human rights of older Australians, how can we go forward, after what we have seen in the sector following the Four Corners investigations and not have the rights of older Australians at the forefront when we are creating a quality and safeguards commission."

 

 

Media Contact:
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie: 0418 401 180

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