Perhaps reaching beyond his role as Counsel assisting, where he is in discovery mode, revealing information for the Commissioners to make their judgements before they write their report, Peter Gray QC has decided that the aged care system in Australia is broken and needs significant ‘change’.
He is targeting more bureaucrats.
Here is more of his closing transcript from Friday:
- Witnesses have agreed that the regulatory model would be strengthened by having access to a wider range of sanctions including, potentially, powers to hold directors personally to account.
- Evidence from direct-experience witnesses also suggests that the available suite of sanctions do not provide for effective accountability.
- Fundamental change to the regulatory system for aged care is needed.
- We submit that piecemeal adjustments and improvements are unlikely to achieve what is required.
- A philosophical shift is required, placing the people receiving care at the centre of quality and safety regulation. This means a new system, empowering them and respecting their rights.
We will be addressing further issues related to quality of care in future hearings and expect to hear further from the Quality Commission, from the secretary of the department and other senior officials to assist in our inquiries into aged care regulation.