Reforms will take time but Morrison Govt “not slowing down”, says Colbeck

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Senator Richard Colbeck, Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services, has acknowledged ahead of next Saturday’s Federal Election that the Morrison Government’s aged care reforms will take time, but says the Government is “not slowing down”.

In a webinar hosted by COTA Australia on Facebook, Minister Colbeck told COTA Chief Executive Ian Yates that it was important the Government take advantage of the imprimatur of the Royal Commission.

“I understand people’s frustration around the time that it takes, but we’ve already legislated our first package, our second package is sitting there ready to finalise when we get back after the election. And that brings in some of those really important elements, legislating the AN-ACC system. But the Royal Commission recognised, and we recognised in our response, that this would take time.

“This is a big ship and we’re talking about redesigning the way that care is delivered, and unfortunately, there are no overnight solutions to this; that’s why there’s a lot of cans that have been kicked down the road from previous reviews, the Royal Commission made mention of that,” he said.

The Minister added that the Government will continue to press on with its aged care reform program to maintain momentum from the Royal Commission and from the 2021-22 Federal Budget.

“The reform program, from a government perspective, is very ambitious. And I have had people in the sector say to me, ‘This is moving too fast, we need to slow it down’. We haven’t done that and we won’t.

“This is a very, very important piece of policy in a broader government sense. You said it was the centrepiece of last year’s Budget, and we need to continue the momentum around reform that comes out of that, it’s really important we do so,” he said.

COTA Australia has been hosting webinars with key figures from both major parties in the leadup to the election on 21 May, including Shadow Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones and Social Services Minister Anne Ruston, who will take on the Health portfolio if the Coalition is re-elected.