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Tuesday, 11 September 2012
Page: 10292

Mrs D'ATH (Petrie) (22:24): I rise to speak about aged care and recent activities and events in my electorate. I was recently invited to spend a day at one of the aged-care facilities in my electorate and then attend the Aged and Community Services Australia National Conference on the Gold Coast to talk about my experience of having spent that day at the local facility. I had the great pleasure of going to Blue Care's Azure Blue aged-care and residential living facility at Redcliffe and spending time in their new wound clinic.

It was amazing to watch the work being done. The clinic is offered weekly. They also get a doctor from the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital to come in once a fortnight to check on the patients. Until you attend one of these clinics and spend some time with the doctors and nurses, you do not appreciate the skills and expertise required in this area. You also do not appreciate what can happen to elderly people who just, for example, have a simple fall. Even a scratch on their leg can, because of other illnesses and conditions, end up being very serious—they can end up hospitalised. I got to see the great work being done and how they are helping many people in our community locally in these clinics. That helps avoid those people needing to be hospitalised or needing long-term care. They also go out and help people in their homes.

At the new aged-care facility at Azure Blue I also got to visit with some residents who had only just moved in during the last week from their previous aged-care facility at Brighton. I met Marjorie, Janice and Jack. They were very happy with their new rooms and were already busy decorating them and enjoying their new surroundings.

It was a pleasure to go down to the conference. The member for Fadden was invited to do the same thing. The two of us sat with Dr Norman Swan and answered questions about our experiences in spending a day at a local facility.

These issues are important to me because 20 per cent of the people in my electorate are over the age of 60. There are over 25,000 pensioners in the electorate of Petrie. I do understand that these people have contributed a lot to our community during their working lives and in raising their families. I also understand that they continue to contribute a lot as volunteers, as members of service organisations and so on. We have a responsibility to make sure we are supporting them in their senior years.

That is why it was my pleasure, on Saturday, 1 September, to have the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, the Hon. Mark Butler, come to my electorate and, with me, host two aged-care forums. We held one at Bracken Ridge State High School and one at Hercules Road State School at Kippa-Ring. Across the two events, over 550 seniors came along for the day. They were very interested in hearing what the government's aged-care reforms are all about. I promised my electorate that I would hold dedicated forums so they could hear what these aged-care reforms are about and what it all means for them. They certainly appreciated that and took the opportunity to ask lots of questions.

I appreciated the minister going through the key elements of the aged-care reforms—putting more funding into helping people stay at home and ensuring that those who can and want to stay at home are able to do so with proper support. The minister talked about better support and about choices in residential care. All of us have heard from our electorates about the problems with bonds. The minister talked about how the reforms will change the way that those bonds are paid, giving people and their families much more choice.

The minister talked about the importance of investing in the aged-care workforce and how we need more aged-care workers—nurses and personal carers—into our aged-care facilities. He talked about the need to invest in this workforce if we are going to meet the challenges of the future. Importantly, the minister talked about the huge investment this government is going to make in dealing with dementia.

I thank the stallholders who came to the forums—Anglicare, Wesley Mission, Feros Care, Alzheimer's Australia (Qld), Suncare, TriCare, United Voice, Centacare, Medicare Local, Meals on Wheels and Blue Care—for coming along and letting the seniors in our area know about the important providers in the area and the support this government is providing to seniors. I thank the minister for coming to my electorate. (Time expired)

House adjourned at 22:30