Aged Care Legislation Amendment Bill passes parliament

The Australian Parliament has passed the Aged Care Legislation Amendment (New Commissioner Functions) Bill 2019 strengthening independent oversight of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, from 1 January 2020.

 

Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians Richard Colbeck said the new laws bolster the Commission through additional regulatory functions and powers proposing a safer and quality-assured sector.

 

From 1 January 2010, the Commissioner’s role will be expanded to include oversight of:

  • approving all residential and home care providers;
  • aged care compliance and enforcement actions; and
  • the administration of the responsibilities of approved providers to report assaults.

 

Mr Colbeck said, expanding the role of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission would give older Australians and their families a single point of contact to respond to concerns.

 

Mr Colbeck said, “The Commissioner will now have the ability to approve providers' entry into aged care, stronger powers to monitor quality of the care and broader responsibility to enforce provider compliance.

 

“If a provider is not delivering the care older Australians deserve, the Commissioner can impose sanctions, including revoking Commonwealth subsidies.”

 

The new laws will also give the Commission additional powers to seek information from providers related to their suitability to deliver services and financial management.

 

The reforms are part of the second stage of the direct response to the findings and recommendations of Ms Kate Carnell AO and Professor Ron Paterson ONZM in the Review of National Aged Care Regulatory Process. The first stage occurred on 1 January this year with the establishment of the Commission and appointment of Ms Janet Anderson PSM as Commissioner.

 

“It is clear there is more work to do, as the work of the Royal Commission continues,” Minister Colbeck said.

 

See the Aged Care Legislation Amendment (New Commissioner Functions) Bill 2019 at https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22legislation%2Fems%2Fs1236_ems_c9a7249e-8709-4f61-8331-7abb51f5df6a%22

 

5 December 2019.