Pat Sparrow provides stability as Sussan Ley exits the Aged Care portfolio

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The ACSA CEO is offering steady leadership for the sector in the wake of Minister Ley’s resignation last week following intense scrutiny of her travel expense claims.

Ms Sparrow, who has been in the ACSA CEO job since August last year, was previously Ms Ley’s Aged and Palliative Care Adviser since the former Minister was appointed to the portfolio in September 2015.

She was also Aged Care Adviser to the previous minister Mitch Fifield from 2014 when it was back under the Department of Social Services.

Ms Sparrow’s experience and knowledge in the government corridors is welcome after a succession of ‘ageing’ ministers, especially under the Coalition that have slowed down reform and led to uncertainty in the sector.

John Howard had eight ‘ageing’ ministers in his 11 years and Abbott/Turnbull have now had three – Mitch Fifield, Christian Porter and Sussan Ley – that is 11 in 14 years. Labor has one ageing minister in four years – Mark Butler.

Senator Arthur Sinodinos has now stepped into the ring temporarily, but with aged care continuing to undergo significant reform, can the next Minister stay the distance?