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More aged care places for older Tasmanians.



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Media Release

Ms Julie Bishop MP Minister for Ageing

9 February 2004 JB018/04

More aged care places for older Tasmanians

Older Australians in Tasmania will have more access to residential aged care following today's announcement of 193 new residential aged care places, more than double last year’s allocation.

The Minister for Ageing, Julie Bishop, said the Australian Government would provide more than $6.5 million in annual recurrent funding for the 140 new high care and 53 new low care places.

"These new places, which have been allocated to seven services, demonstrate the Australian Government’s on-going commitment to providing more aged care places for older Australians," Ms Bishop said.

The new places are in addition to the recent allocation of 25 new Community Aged Care Packages which help to fulfil the aspirations of older Tasmanians who want to age independently at home.

"In total, the Australian Government has allocated more than 7,200 aged care places this financial year," Ms Bishop said. "Over the past five years the Australian Government has allocated over 52,700 new aged care places across Australia as part of our commitment to provide 200,000 places by 2006. Compare this to the 10,000 aged care place shortage left by the former Labor Government.

"The Australian Government is also providing over $2.6 million this year in capital grants to help build quality accommodation for older Australians needing residential care in Tasmania.

"This year the Australian Government is providing 100 more places than allocated last year, which will result in the creation of three new services.

"More than 40 per cent of the places and more than $2.4 million of the capital grants have been allocated to rural, regional and remote Tasmania, delivering on the Australian Government’s commitment to enabling people to live in their communities as they grow older."

Ms Bishop welcomed the response to the Aged Care Approvals Round in Tasmania.

"Approved providers have two years in which to make these new places fully operational," Ms Bishop said. "Nearly 30 per cent of the successful applicants have indicated they are expecting to have the new places in operation within six months of allocation."

Additional information is available on the Department of Health and Ageing Internet site at www.ageing.health.gov.au/acar2003/index.htm

Media contact: Rachael Thompson 02 6277 7280 or 0417 265 289