Which peak body: ACSA or LASA – the discussion continues

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As reported over the past two weeks, the creation of LEADING AGED SERVICES Australia (LASA) as an alternative peak body to ACSA has placed a problem on the ageing sector’s table. Talk in the sector is: where to from here?

Both ACSA and LASA want one peak body – a fact that ACSA has been working towards for over 12 months after research of members confirmed this objective. ACSA and ACAA’s merger plan included the private operators of ACQ, ACCV and ACAA, with the Not For profits. A draft constitution was developed but it soon became apparent to that there was still a strong ‘divergence of views’ from ACSA members, principally around the financial objectives of the private operators clashing with the Not For Profits, with their missions of care for the disadvantaged.

The ACSA single peak body plan was put on hold given the Productivity Commission and upcoming budget. ACQ, ACCV and ACAA did not want to wait. They launched LASA even though the ‘divergence of opinion’ amongst operators continues. The risk could be the opposite result sought by both ACSA and the LASA – an increasingly fragmented sector rather than a single, unified representative voice.

In effect LASA has nailed its flag to the mast. Not For Profits with ‘divergent views’ will need to decide if they can adjust these views to enable a single peak body. If they hold out the sector will be weaker and nobody wins. Will LASA or ACSA emerge as the sole sector representative. As Glenn Bunney of LASA says, it’s up to LASA to deliver a performance that will attract members. Watch this space.