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Aged care sector gets more time to meet new reporting requirements.



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THE HON CHRISTOPHER PYNE MP

Minister for Ageing

MEDIA RELEASE

Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 • Telephone: (02) 6277 4842 Facsimile: (02) 6277 8581

21 March 2007 CP 22 /07

Aged care sector gets more time to meet new reporting requirements

Aged care providers will be given more time to comply with the new Government measures to strengthen the protection of their residents, the Minister for Ageing, Christopher Pyne, announced today.

“The Aged Care Amendment (Security and Protection) Bill introduces new measures including: compulsory reporting of abuse; protections for approved providers and staff who report; and improved arrangements for investigating complaints,” Mr Pyne said.

The Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs, in its inquiry into the Bill, recommended on 9 March that the commencement date for the legislation, originally 1 April this year, should be deferred for at least a month - particularly in relation to the reporting provisions.

“In response, the Australian Government will move an amendment to the Bill to extend the implementation timeframes,” Mr Pyne said.

The new complaints investigation arrangements and the new Aged Care Commissioner will be in place by 1 May 2007, while the new compulsory reporting and whistleblower protection requirements will start on 1 July 2007.

“This extension of time will give the sector a breathing space - a chance to set up appropriate procedures and educate their staff about the Government’s new requirements,” Mr Pyne said.

“Compulsory reporting raises many sensitive issues. It will be beneficial for providers to have more time to come to understand the requirements and to make the necessary changes.”

The amendment will also provide more time for further consultation with the aged care sector, through the Aged Care Advisory Committee, on the detail of the new arrangements - which will be set out in subordinate legislation.

“I look forward to working with the aged care sector on bringing in these new improvements,” Mr Pyne said.

Media contact: Adam Howard 0400 414 833