Rebekha calls for oversight of aged care reforms

25 May 2021

Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie is advocating for a parliamentary committee to oversee the implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and the $17.7 billion in extra funding set aside for aged care in the Federal Budget.

“The $17.7 billion, five-year, whole-of-government response will not fund the implementation of all of the Royal Commission recommendations, but it makes a sound start,” Rebekha said.

“But the devil is always in the detail which is why I am working with the Government to establish a Joint Select Committee with representatives from all sides of politics and from both the House of Representatives and the Senate to track the progress of this significant reform of our Aged Care system.

“A motion arguing the case for the oversight committee was debated late yesterday with speakers from the Crossbench, the Opposition, and the Government.

“My Centre Alliance colleague Senator Stirling Griff is looking to introduce a similar motion into the Senate and I met with the Prime Minister Scott Morrison this week to advocate for the committee. The meeting was constructive and the PM said he would consider the matter.

“Joint Select Committees can hold public hearings and call for public submissions so Australians can have their input into how the reforms are being rolled out.

“My proposed Joint Select Committee would comprise representatives from the Government, the Opposition, independents and minor parties, from both Chambers.

“This will ensure the redesign of the Aged Care system is afforded the highest priority.

“We can make sure the Royal Commission report does not suffer the same fate as tens of reports before it and sit on the shelf until the media reports the next crisis, that should have been addressed decades ago.

“Generational change in Aged Care this will not be a matter for just one Government, nor one Parliament. It will require sustained multi-partisan effort and support, by successive governments.

“We need a Joint Select Committee, to work together in a bipartisan way, with oversight of the implementation of the Royal Commission’s recommendations so it becomes a true working group focussed on meeting the needs of our older Australians.”

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