Support workers have added their voices to the formation of a rejigged Aged Care Act being considered by the Federal Government.


Direct care workers have joined registered nurses and allied health workers in detailing their wants and needs from the sector, which they hope will then be incorporated into policy.


The Federal Government released a consultation paper in August, together with other resources, to seek feedback on the proposed foundations of the new Act.


The new Act is set to replace existing aged care legislation.


The Federal Government stated that the new Act will include a Statement of Rights and pathways for older people to have their rights upheld. It will also create a single entry point to the aged care system, with clear eligibility requirements and a fair, culturally appropriate single assessment system. 
 In addition, it will also support the delivery of a range of aged care services, including in-home care services, put in place new system oversight and accountability arrangements and introduce a new approach to regulating aged care which will encourage the delivery of high-quality care and strengthen the powers of the aged care regulator.


Around a dozen consultation forums took place across Australia in an eight-week window earlier this year, in addition to an online forum held at the end of August.

Support workers nationwide contributed to a joint submission by 13 national organisations – including Carers Australia, Dementia Australia and Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) – that work with older people and carers.

The resulting submission makes 59 recommendations across a diverse range of topics including recommendations about:

  • Legal obligations of care including comments on the proposed high-quality care approach.
  • Introducing human rights into aged care and ensuring rights are upheld and implemented.
  • Supported decision-making.
  • The future complaints system, penalties and compensation.
  • Eligibility criteria to access aged care services.

OPAN said the submission reflected the experiences and preferences of older people, that impacted parties have shared with consumer organisations. 


“It reflects our collective knowledge and experience in supporting and advocating with, and on behalf of, older people and carers.”


It is anticipated the government will release an exposure draft of the new Aged Care Act later this month, with the Act likely to commence on 1 July 2024, subject to parliamentary passage.