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21 new aged care beds in Eden-Monaro.



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Media Release

Dr Mike Kelly AM MP Federal Member for Eden-Monaro Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Support

Office of the Hon. Dr Mike Kelly AM MP

Member for Eden-Monaro, Shop 16, City Link Plaza, Morisset Street, Queanbeyan NSW 2620

Friday 25 September 2008

21 new aged care beds in Eden-Monaro

Member for Eden Monaro Dr Mike Kelly today announced a federally funded zero real interest loan worth more than $4.2million, providing an additional 21 nursing home beds in the local community. The loan will go to the Snowy River Hostel in Berridale.

The funding is part of the first stage of the Australian Government’s election commitment to provide $300 million in zero real interest loans to create 2,500 aged care places.

The $150 million commitment will cover the cost of the interest on the loans will see almost 1,350 new nursing home beds and more than 100 community care packages delivered in areas designated as high need across the country.

Dr Kelly said: “Caring for our ageing population is one of the major challenges facing our nation this century - and as a Government - we take that responsibility very seriously. I am determined to see more announcements like this across the electorate.

“This is about providing nursing home beds for frail and older Australians in areas like ours where incentives such as interest free loans are needed to boost aged care services.

“Today, around nine per cent of the Australian population is aged 70 years or older. That is some two million people. This is expected to rise to 13 per cent by 2021 and to 20 per cent in 2051 - a rise to around 5.7 million people.

Federal Minister for Ageing Mrs Justine Elliot said: “We are preparing for the challenges of the 21st century and responding to the needs of Australia’s ageing population.

“Over the next four years, the Australian Government is investing more than $40 billion - $28.6 billion of that on nursing homes alone.

“No Australian Government has committed more funding to aged and community care than the Rudd Labor Government,” Mrs Elliot said.

The applications for these loans were assessed independently by Department of Health and Ageing which worked closely with a probity adviser on the assessment and negotiation process.

The loans were an election commitment and the Government has pledged to cover the cost of the interest on these loans. An ageing Australia - the facts • There are almost 3,000 nursing homes with more than 170,000 beds.

• Australians have the second longest life expectancy in the world - after the Japanese. • An Australian born today can expect to reach 81.4 years of age. New research shows that, by mid-century, Australians could expect to live to their mid-to late 80s. • Currently, there are some 2.8 million Australians - about 13 per cent of the population - aged

65 and over. This number is expected to triple over the next 40 years. The number of people aged over 80 years will almost double in the next 20 years. Media contact: Evan Langdon 0447 694 201 or evan.langdon@aph.gov.au