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Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Page: 1548

Senator SIEWERT (Western AustraliaAustralian Greens Whip) (18:47): I rise to indicate that the Greens will be supporting this disallowance motion. We entered into a lot of discussion and negotiation over the Living Longer Living Better package and I do think that we helped to make it a better package. This issue of better wages for aged-care workers has been very high on the agenda for a significant period of time and, although promises have been made in the past to address the poor wages of workers that work very hard in this sector, they have not been effectively delivered.

What has happened is that in the past when there has been additional funding put into aged care, it has not actually been delivered to those that are doing the hard work at the coalface, and they are the aged-care workers. They are some of the lowest paid in the sector. In the previous aged-care inquiries in Perth and the subsequent one about the Living Longer Living Better legislation, we heard some horrendous stories about the low wages and the things that people had to do. We consulted a lot during that process. We will be supporting this disallowance motion because we believe that the Living Longer Living Better package was amended to address the issues of concern and this is the best way to ensure that increased wages are delivered to aged-care workers.

(Quorum formed)

Debate interrupted.