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Opposition calls for consultation on residents' rights



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OPPOSITION CALLS FOR CONSULTATION ON RESIDENTS’ RIGHTS

The G overnm ent m ust consult w idely w ith all sections o f th e n u rsin g home and h o ste l

industry b e fo re introducing the C h a r t e r of R e s id e n ts ’ R ig h ts and a g re e m e n ts , said Mr Ray

B ra ith w a ite , Shadow M in iste r for Community Services and A g ed C are, la s t night.

C o n su lta tio n must be held w ith nil sections of the in d u stry - all n a t io n a l o rg an isatio n s,

not just those of the M in is te r’s choosing, consumers, r e la tiv e s , th e S t a t e s and local

governm ent. And th e O pposition will ensure th a t this ac tio n is ta k e n , said th e Shadow

Minister.

Mr B ra ith w a ite w as speaking in the Second R eading d e b a t e on the Comm unity Services and

H e a lth L eg islatio n A m endm ent Bill (No.2) 1989. The main p u rp o se o f th e Bill is to enable

re s id e n ts ’ rights in itia tiv e s to be im plem ented in nursing hom es and h o stels.

The Bill enables A C h a r t e r of R e s id e n ts ’ R ig h ts to be fo rm u la te d by th e M in iste r and

introduced by R e g u la tio n , and fo r c o n tra c tu a l a rra n g e m e n ts to be e n t e r e d into b e tw e e n

h o ste l and nursing home re s id e n ts and p ro p rie to rs as a co n d itio n of r e c u r r e n t funding.

The O pposition pro p o sed am endm ents to ensure th a t following c o n s u lta tio n s, the d r a f t

C h arter, a g re e m e n t and principles to be fo rm u lated are b ro u g h t b e f o r e b o th H ouses of

P arlia m e n t for scrutiny, d e b a t e and am endm ent if necessary.

The Shadow M inister r e a ffirm e d the concern o f the C o alitio n fo r th e w e lf a r e and care of all

the aged, and more p a rtic u la rly , for th e ir rig h ts in the h o s te ls and nursing homes in which

they reside.

’We ag ree w ith th e principle of re s id e n ts ’ rights, p a rtic u la rly w h e re th e C om m onw ealth is a

funder to the re s id e n ts in the hom es’, said Mr B ra ith w a ite . ’We do n o t d is a g re e w ith the

principle th a t th e re should be C h a rte rs and C o n tra c ts ’.

But w hat we are saying is th a t they must be acceptable and w o rk a b le to all p a r ti e s in the

nursing home ind u stry - re sid e n ts, re la tiv e s, nursing s t a f f and p ro p r ie to r s .

And we must ensure th a t th e re is p ro p e r and a d e q u a te c o n su lta tio n , said Mr B ra ith w a ite .

’But, given the G o v e rn m e n t’s record, we are f a r from s a tis f ie d t h a t t h e r e will b e ’. This

is why we are proposing a m en d en ts to ensure th a t the C h a r te r , a g r e e m e n t and principles are

brought befo re b o th Houses of P a rlia m e n t for approval and a m en d m en t, if necessary.

Mr B ra ith w a ite re a ffirm e d the d e sire of the O pposition th a t in the in tro d u c tio n o f the

C h a rte r, the qu ality of care d o lla r would still be av ailab le to e n su re th e same q u a lity of

excellent care for which the nursing hom e/hostel industry is known.

Canberra, 22 November 1989 Enquiries: (062) 77 4218

♦

COMMONWEALTH

PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MICAH