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Calvert's comment [August]

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SENATOR PAUL CALVERT Liberal Senator for Tasmania


There has been spirited debate in recent times surrounding our well-documented population decline and the associated challenges that face our community. Much has been made of the need to attract skilled migrants to our shores and whilst I agree this strategy is of merit and worth pursuing, it is also important to recognise the contributions made by those who care for our aged.

In late July, I invited the Federal Aged Care Minister, Bronwyn Bishop, to visit our facilities on the Eastern Shore. After visiting the ADARDS Nursing Home and Lillian Martin Home in Warrane followed by a tour of The Freemasons Home for the Aged in Lindisfarne, I can say that both the Minister and I were exceedingly impressed.

Unfortunately the Minister's busy schedule did not allow enough time to visit other notable Eastern Shore facilities such as Maranatha Retirement Homes in Rosny, Queen Victoria Home in Lindisfarne and Compton Downs of Old Beach. The Aged Care Industry on the Eastern Shore is big business and provides employment for many residents. Accordingly, Bronwyn Bishop and I are keen to visit the other facilities in the near future.

The facilities, combined with the high level of care provided to residents by their carers were remarkable. All too often we sadly take for granted the genuine dedication and professionalism of many carers who give of themselves so that senior members of our community are able to spend their final years in comfort and with dignity.

When visiting Nursing Homes, I always look forward to the opportunity of speaking with residents as they will often paint a true and honest picture. It is satisfying when all residents and their families I spoke with were pleased with their surrounds and the level of care they received which is surely a commendation for their carers - the unsung heroes of our community.