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Bed licence allocation process must be transparent.

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Senator Jan McLucas Labor Senator for Queensland Shadow Minister for Ageing, Disabilities and Carers

Media Release 26 March 2007

Bed licence allocation process must be transparent

The 2007 Aged Care Allocation Round (ACAR), announced today by the new Minister for Ageing, must be made a transparent process, Senator McLucas said.

Public confidence in the bed allocation process has to be restored following the allocation of 94 bed licences to a Liberal Party mate in the 2006 ACAR.

Further, the Courier Mail, (23 March) reported the allocation of 70 unannounced bed licences to yet another block of land in exactly the same South Coast Aged Care Planning Region as the Russell Egan Jnr licences. This allocation was not made public as part of the 2006 ACAR.

"We are still waiting on the results of Minister Pyne's 'investigation' of the allocation of the aged care bed licences to Mr Russell Egan Jnr.

"The South Coast Aged Care Planning Region has one of the highest shortages of aged care beds in Queensland, at 416 short, yet now frail older people may have to wait years to get a bed - if at all - because those 94 bed licences, and the further 70, may never turn into beds or take years to do so. It would make absolute sense to allocate bed licences to a facility that is able to commence operating straight away.

"The Prime Minister must now order an independent inquiry into the aged care bed licence allocation process, and ensure transparency of the 2007 Aged Care Approvals Round."

Contact: Sen Jan McLucas 0407 169 206 Heather Witham 0417 010 734