Everything old is new again? 1998 Cabinet papers reveal familiar ageing strategy

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The release of Cabinet papers from 1998-1999 has revealed the Federal Government’s plans to deliver its National Strategy for an Ageing Australia in June 1998 were eerily like those being put forward in the Royal Commission into Aged Care.

Then-Coalition family services minister Warwick Smith (also a Tasmanian like current Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck, but in the House of Reps) took a plan to Cabinet that stated the impact and potential policy responses to an ageing population should revolve around four themes: independence and self-provision; world-class care; attitudes, lifestyle and community support; and healthy ageing.

However, the submission also included a commitment that the national strategy would “not encourage expectations of additional commonwealth expenditure”.

History repeating itself?