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Labor's last minute aged care promises demonstrate coalition's achievements.

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The Hon Julie Bishop MP Minister for Ageing


1 October 2004 JB200/04


Labor’s last minute aged care promises demonstrate that only the Coalition will provide older Australians and their families choice in the care available to them, and the security of a strong economy to deliver it.

In 13 years of government Labor neglected aged care and failed to introduce national legislated care standards and refused to act when an independent report found nursing homes delivering poor quality care.

That same report confirmed Labor seriously underfunded capital funding for aged care homes and the Auditor General found Labor left office with a 10,000 aged care place shortage.

In contrast upon coming to office the Coalition introduced an extensive program of reforms to improve aged care, including; • More than doubling funding for aged care from $3 billion in 1995-96 to $6.7 billion this financial year;

• introducing the first national legislated care standards and the establishment of the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency to oversee quality assurance; • allocating more than 68,600 new aged care places; • significantly increasing funding for programs, such as Home and Community Care and

Community Aged Care Packages, to fulfil the choice of older Australians to age at home; • providing a five-fold increase in funding for the National Respite for Carers Program.

In contrast to Labor’s last minute catch up promises, the Coalition delivered a $2.2 billion fully funded and fully costed aged care package in the 2004 Budget, the largest single investment in aged care by any Australian government.

A re-elected Coalition will also make dementia a National Health Priority and increase dementia-specific at-home care places, education, training and research programs.

We will further recognise the needs of senior Australians and their carers with a new package of financial and respite support.

Through these initiatives the Coalition will continue to deliver on our vision for a world class system of aged care that provides a high quality, affordable and accessible choice of services that meet the individual needs and choices of older Australians.

Authorised by Julie Bishop • Parliament House • Canberra ACT 2600 • Tel: (02) 6277 7280 • Fax: (02) 6273 4138 ---