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Morrison: Put care back in aged care

Our aged care system has been broken for years. But it took a pandemic and a Royal Commission to finally expose the extent of the government's neglect.

Aged care should be a place where – no matter socioeconomic status, race or ability – residents are cared for with respect and dignity.

But the Morrison Government's systematic stripping of funding from aged care has left our loved ones exploited, workers stretched to the limits and greedy private providers sufficiently unregulated to pocket profits.

It's time to put the care back in aged care.

Aged care image

We have a bold vision for how aged care should operate in this country – one that centres around care for residents and the empowerment of workers.
But it's going to take considerable public pressure for the Morrison Government to act. They hoping they can leave our parents, grandparents and loved ones in the lurch and wait until the final report is handed down from the Royal Commission in February next year.

Will you add your name to the call, demanding reform to put dignity and respect back into aged care?

The problems in the aged care system are vast. They stem from a funding system which allows private aged care facilities to exploit aged care residents. This was made worse when Morrison decided to strip aged care of almost $2 billion of funding between 2015 and 2016.1

The lack of transparency around how funding decisions are made means that funding is not linked to the care outcomes of residents – leaving residents neglected and vulnerable.2

Moreover, the system is woefully understaffed. With no minimum mandated staffing levels, staff are overworked, leading to incredibly high staff turnover.3

If you're interested in reading more on the systemic problems in the aged care system, check-out this great two part article in The Saturday Paper.

[1] The collapse of aged care (part two), The Saturday Paper, 19 September 2020.
[2] Financial transparency in aged care, Royal Commission, 2020.
[3] The collapse of aged care (part two), The Saturday Paper, 19 September 2020.
The Royal Commission is expected to hand down their final report in February, which will give a holistic overview of the problems and solutions needed. But we can't wait until February to act.

Based on the early findings of the Royal Commission, at a minimum, aged care reform must include:
  • Transparency and accountability for how funding is spent, with funding explicitly linked to care outcomes.
  • Instead of stretching workers to the limit – we need to empower workers by mandating staffing levels, skills and training requirements, so workers can provide their best care.
Unions across the sector have come together to demand aged care reform. If you want to know more about the workers demands for aged care policy reform, click here. Or if you are an aged care worker in Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia or the NT and would like to share your experience with the United Workers Union, click here.
COVID-19 exposed the failings of the aged care system to adequately protect residents and workers.

A report by the Royal Commission, released on the 30th of September exposed that many of the 663 deaths during covid, could have been avoided with faster action.1

Furthermore, despite 2000 complaints to the aged-care regulator between April and June, the watchdog had issued zero fines to aged-care homes.2

COVID-19 shouldnt be an excuse to leave our loved ones in the lurch - it should be a reason to act faster.

[1] COVID aged care deaths could have been "avoided" if response was faster, Brendan Murphy admits, The New Daily, 29 September 2020. [2] Aged-care watchdog gave no fines, despite wave of complaints, The Australian, 28 September 2020.


To the Morrison Government,

We call on you to ensure that everyone in aged care is able to live with dignity and comfort.

We demand reforms to our aged care system that prioritise people's wellbeing, empower health and aged care workers, and guarantee that quality of care is never dependent on income.

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