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Industry Bodies Unite to Support Needs of Older Australians

Providers of residential and community services for older Australians have united to develop a plan to implement a sustainable future for older Australians and the generations who will follow.

The group has banded together following the release of the Productivity Commission Research Paper ‘An Ageing Australia: Preparing for the Future’. The paper has prompted the call to action to meet the challenge facing the Abbott Government of funding the needs of older Australians.

“The cost of services for older Australians is an increasing burden on a shrinking tax base,” said CEO of Aged and Community Services (ACSA), Adj Prof John G Kelly AM.

“Industry provider bodies, Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), Catholic Health Australia (CHA) and ACSA call on Prime Minister Abbott to implement an urgent leaders’ forum to develop an action plan with clear deliverables and appropriate funding,”  CHA CEO, Martin Laverty said.

“Amongst our members are well recognised leaders with exemplary problem solving and practical skills capable of developing an action plan for age services. Industry is offering these services to Prime Minister Tony Abbott in order to establish an age services implementation taskforce,”  LASA CEO Patrick Reid added.

“The Ageing agenda and in particular supporting providers in caring for older Australians is not a policy area that receives anywhere near the attention the community deserves,” Prof Kelly said.

“The 2011 Productivity Commission Report, Caring for Older Australians was hailed as a blueprint for age service reform. The previous government failed to implement enough of the Report’s recommendations to enable wide-ranging reform that is necessary to meet our looming responsibilities,” Mr Laverty said.

“Industry wants to assist government in implementing the 2011 PC Report, particular by removing the key regulatory control that prevents access to services. This is an approach supported by the PC to enable age service providers to establish a more responsive market based service, rather than the current government controlled and rationed system,” Mr Reid said.

“Assistant Minister for Social Services, Senator Mitch Fifield this week announced a significant step in reducing red tape by simplifying accommodation pricing for residential aged care providers,” Prof Kelly said.

“As industry leaders our organisations are well placed to support the government with pragmatic solutions that
will ensure the policy initiatives of today are part of a plan to meet the demands of the future,” Mr Laverty said.

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Alana Lowes

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