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‘No surprises’ aged care budget welcomed

Australia’s age services peak body, Leading Age Services Australia, welcomed the Turnbull Government’s 2017/18 Federal Budget.

LASA CEO Sean Rooney said the Turnbull Government’s first federal Budget since its re-election is welcome news after previous Federal Budgets have seen ongoing cuts to aged care funding and
associated programs.

“Tonight’s Federal Budget provides near term funding stability for the age services industry affording our industry an opportunity to reflect and participate fully in the many policy and program reviews currently underway, without fear of ongoing funding cuts,” Mr Rooney said.

LASA welcomed the specific aged care initiatives announced in the 2017/18 Budget including:

  • $5.5billion over the forward estimates to extend funding arrangements for the Commonwealth Home Support Program
  • $3.1million in 2017/18 to improve the My Aged Care IT platform
  • $1.9million over two years two establish and support an industry led taskforce to develop an aged care sector workforce strategy
  • $8.3million over three years for home-based palliative care, coordinated through the Primary Health Networks.

“Individually, and collectively, these Budget initiatives respond (in part) to the growing demands for age services in Australia and are welcomed by our industry.

“Notwithstanding this, the aged care sector needs a long term, stable and sustainable funding strategy to ensure Australia has an accessible, affordable, quality aged care system.”

Mr Rooney said LASA looks forward to the conclusion of Government reviews currently underway, including the Legislated Review of Aged Care Reforms, the Senate inquiry into the aged care workforce, and the work underway to consider alternatives to the current arrangements for aged care funding.

“The finalising of these activities, and subsequent engagement with industry and other stakeholders, will go a long way to ensuring Australia has a ‘fit for purpose’ age services industry into the future,” Mr Rooney said.

“LASA will continue work on behalf of our Members to ensure ongoing reforms realise the intent of the aged care reform agenda are consistent with the Aged Care Sector Roadmap and address the pressing issues of our industry.”
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