JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
SENATOR THE HON. MITCH FIFIELD
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR SOCIAL SERVICES
NATASHA GRIGGS MP
MEMBER FOR SOLOMON
Increased funding for aged care in Northern Territory
Launch of new aged care service arrangements
Member for Solomon, Natasha Griggs MP, has been joined today in Darwin by the Assistant Minister for Social Services, Senator Mitch Fifield to launch the new service arrangements for aged care residents in Darwin affected by the closure of Tracey Aged Care.
The arrangements have been put into place following Frontier Services making a commercial decision to close Tracey Aged Care and transfer its Northern Territory services to BlueCare.
The Commonwealth Government negotiated with BlueCare in March 2014 a package worth $5 million to support continued delivery of these essential aged care services in the Northern Territory.
Former residents of Tracy Aged Care have since been able to move into the newly refurbished rooms in the Terrace Gardens aged care facility.
“The Government was committed to ensuring no residents were left without accommodation following the commercial decision made to close Tracy Aged Care. This commitment has been kept,” Mrs Griggs said.
“I’m delighted to be joining with Senator Fifield to launch the new service arrangements, which will ensure all residents of Tracey Aged Care have been found a new home and are receiving appropriate care.”
“The new arrangements will help to provide a strong foundation for the ongoing provision of aged care services in the NT,” Mrs Griggs said.
Increased funding for NT aged care providers in the Federal Budget
Senator Fifield said that the Federal Budget provides increased funding for aged care providers nation-wide.
“The Coalition Government has met its election commitments in aged care by providing increased funding which is better targeted and more flexible in the Budget,” Mrs Griggs said.
Senator Fifield said that the previous government’s Aged Care Workforce Supplement, which imposed red tape on aged care providers, has been repurposed into increased payments to all home and residential aged care providers, resulting in a 2.4 per cent increase from 1 July 2014.
“Providers will have more flexibility in how to use these additional funds than they would have under the prescriptive requirements of Labor’s Workforce Supplement, meaning they will be able to target it to their areas of highest need,” Senator Fifield said.
Mrs Griggs said that regional, rural and remote providers will also benefit from a 20 per cent increase to the viability supplement.
“This measure is a $54 million boost to regional, rural and remote providers and takes into account the unique challenges faced by aged care providers in these locations,” Mrs Griggs said, adding that many aged care providers in the Territory would benefit.
Senator Fifield, the Assistant Minister for Social Services, said this new funding arrangement will give aged care providers a boost in funding while also giving each individual provider the flexibility they need to direct the funds to the areas where they need it most.
This and other red tape reduction measures contained in the budget will allow providers to focus on what they do best providing quality care to older Australians,” Senator Fifield said.
New aged care places in the NT to be funded in ACAR 2014
Earlier this month the Government announced the opening of the 2014 Aged Care Approval Round (ACAR).
“The ACAR is the major funding round in the aged care industry and provides new Australian Government-funded aged care places to service providers through a competitive assessment process,” Senator Fifield said.
“Under ACAR 2014, funding will be provided for 54 new residential aged care places in the Northern Territory and 25 new home care places,” Mrs Griggs said.
“And to encourage greater investment in areas of high need, up to $103 million in capital grants under the Rural, Regional and Other Special Needs Building Fund will be offered across the country,” Mrs Griggs.
Senator Fifield and Mrs Griggs said that the Commonwealth remains absolutely committed to quality care for older people in the Northern Territory.
13 June 2014
Media contact for Natasha Griggs: Camden Smith | 0488 588 754 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Media contact for Senator Fifield: Lydia Bevege | 0409 792 081 | email@example.com