November 29, 2021

I rise to speak about the ongoing crisis in aged care, specifically regarding the blowout in the waitlist for residential home-care packages.

Older Australians are literally dying while waiting for their packages and others are missing out on precious extra years in their family home due to the Morrison-Joyce government's failures. One of the key recommendations from the aged-care royal commission report was that the government clear the home-care package waitlist of over 100,000 people by the end of this year. However, in the budget, the Morrison government announced only 80,000 new packages over the next two years, ignoring that there were over 100,000 people waiting and that thousands are added each and every year.

In my electorate of Shortland, which is the sixth-oldest in the country, there are almost 3,000 older Australians waiting to receive their home-care package. This is an absolute disgrace. There's currently only one home-care modification company in the region dealing with the waitlist for home modifications as well, down from three companies previously. And there's no additional funding, so this one company is now doing the work of three without any additional funding. This means that the wait time for home modifications is expanded dramatically.

For eight long years the coalition government has neglected older Australians, but they deserve our respect and need to be treated with dignity. These people continue to make a valuable contribution to our community and they should be able to receive the best quality of care in their own homes.