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Aged ministry welcome

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Media Release Monday 19th October, 1998

Aged Ministry Welcomed

Aged Care Australia, the largest peak body in aged care representing over 1200 not-for-profit providers of residential and community care and support services, today welcomed the creation of an Aged Care Ministry.

Speaking in Sydney after the announcement of the new Howard Ministry, ACA President John Ireland commended the Prime Minister for his action.

“Aged Care has been and remains a key social issue of concern to the community. In metropolitan areas, and in remote and rural communities, there is apprehension about the way in which we provide care for older Australians. The Prime Minister obviously recognises this and has created a specific portfolio dedicated to the resolution of issues of concern,” said Mr Ireland.

“We are also pleased to note that specific attention will be paid to the needs of older Australians in rural and remote communities by Minister John Anderson in his Regional Services portfolio.”

Aged Care Australia also welcomed Mrs Bronwvn Bishop to her task as Minister for Aged Care.

“We are delighted to welcome an experienced Minister of the calibre of Mrs Bishop to her new task," said Mr Ireland. “She has always given the impression of being a person with an eye for the detail, and as one who is dedicated to achieving the very best in and for her Ministry. We welcome this appointment and look forward to working with Mrs. Bishop to resolve outstanding matters which must be addressed promptly if we are all to be confident about our capacity to offer quality care to those who need it,” Mr Ireland said.

The new portfolio arrangements however may divide Ministerial responsibilities, which would be unfortunate. It is unclear for example where responsibility for Home and Community Care now rests given its broad brief in respect of people of all ages.

ACA also commended the previous Minister, Warwick Smith for his achievements as Minister for Family Services.

“Minister Smith was always ready to listen to our arguments, and while we may not always have agreed, we believed we received a fair hearing. He was a good man, and a politician who did much to restore the community’s faith in honest representation. While he has obviously been defeated fairly and we congratulate his opponent in Bass, we enjoyed a productive relationship with him. We wish Warwick Smith every success in his future activities,” said Mr Ireland.

“We have a long agenda for our first meeting with Minister Bishop,” he concluded. “We look forward to receiving a good hearing for our advice in the interests of the older Australians for whom we speak.”

For Further Information John Ireland, President ACA Mobile: 018 674 914 Please Contact: Maureen Lyster, CEO ACA Mobile: 0416 203 065