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Tuesday, 7 October 2003
Page: 20633

Ms ELLIS (3:14 PM) —My question is again to the Minister for Ageing. I refer to the answer that the minister gave to the previous question, where the minister gave a guarantee for the payment of residents' bonds in the two homes referred to in Victoria. Can the minister guarantee the accommodation bonds of the residents of all aged care facilities?

Ms JULIE BISHOP (Minister for Ageing) —I thank the member for her question. The fact is residents' bonds are subject to agreement between the particular resident and the particular approved provider. Approved providers are required to repay bonds within a specified period on the departure or death of the resident and in the case there has been a receiver or a manager or—as in one case—a liquidator appointed.

But what the Australian government has done is establish a number of protections for the bonds of residents in aged care homes. For example, if a home is sold the purchaser is responsible for repaying the bonds and this is factored into any sale negotiation. Aged care places cannot be transferred to another provider without the approval of the department. The point is any approval would include an agreement from the purchaser to repay bonds as they fall due and the amount of resident bonds, in the event that the opposition is interested in that, is in fact protected information under the Aged Care Act 1997.