Home | Industry+Policy | Freshly minted ministry: the sector reacts to new aged care portfolio
Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Photo: Twitter

Freshly minted ministry: the sector reacts to new aged care portfolio

Australia’s new leader Scott Morrison has named his ministry and while many offices will have new plaques on their doors, the aged care portfolio has retained its head in Ken Wyatt.

After indicating that he would consider his position should Peter Dutton win the party’s vote in the latest leadership spill – due to Dutton’s decision to boycott Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s apology to the Stolen Generation – it seemed Wyatt did not have the same reservation about serving under now Prime Minister Morrison.

Following Morrison’s win, Wyatt tweeted that he would be willing to continue serving Australians in whatever capacity the Prime Minister wished.

That capacity ended up being as Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care, along with Indigenous Health.

COTA chief executive Ian Yates welcomed the portfolio’s broader remit, along with Morrison’s declaration the task will focus on “quality of life challenges and their cost of living pressures”.

Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) chief executive Sean Rooney was also happy to see the broadened role but expressed the peak’s disappointment that the aged care portfolio was not elevated to Cabinet.

“Australia is facing a ‘new normal’ as the ‘baby boomer’ generation ages, requiring a major shift in the way we think about ageing,” Rooney said. “The issues of ageing and aged care are of national importance and we need to engage all Australians in what it means to age well in our country.”

Rooney said the aged care sector took some reassurance from Morrison’s Budget night address as Treasurer.

“We’re living longer. It’s a good thing,” Morrison said in his speech. “We want to preserve and increase the choices of older Australians.”

Rooney said: “I am confident the Prime Minister will be a passionate advocate for the care of older Australians and will work hard to ensure that meeting the needs of older Australians is not framed as a burden to be borne, but rather an opportunity to be realised.”

Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) also saw Morrison’s first speech as Prime Minister as a good sign.

When asked what, apart from drought, were his policy priorities, he listed aged care as one of several, along with electricity prices, Medicare, small- and medium-size businesses, affordable medicines and chronic illness.

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  1. Ken Wyatt is the MP
    *Who cannot guarantee funding for CHSP services after 2020.
    * Who insists seniors need to register on MAC and keep up to date via the internet when most of this age group can’t use it.
    * Who is choking the life out of social workers who not only have to see people and institute solutions to their issues but need to report this not just in the organisations CRM but also on MAC (this equates to double reporting of every single service or incident with every single client seen)

    I am not sure anyone in Aged Care is celebrating his remaining in this role.

  2. Well said Esther in your comment to this announcement that Ken Wyatt remain as Aged care minister under the latest prime minister (for how-long)? It is appalling that minister Wyatt allows himself the privilege of a dummy spit referring to the poor form of Minister Dutton in a ‘separate portfolio’ area. No matter how right wing Minister Dutton sees himself its just predicable rhetoric that comes from Dutton’s mouth and a minister of good standing should just ignore it and move on, just as the politicians are telling us to since the Liberal leadership changed. Apparently the rest of us mere mortals they represent have to come to terms with the change and they are all going to play nice now. Mr Wyatt needs to focus on the fact that there are indigenous and non indigenous aged care Australians that need a strong and determined minister to fight for them not a dummy thrower that denies his representatives proactive support. No one wins that way. Aged care must be held by someone who is committed to proactive reform and not be beholden by other areas. It must become a front bench senior portfolio with a large budget for reform that isn’t there just for providers.

  3. The Minister alone is not to blame for the difficulties we are facing with these reforms and the consequences they are having on the current ageing community.
    The Peaks received a great amount of funding to push and educate the sector on the Government and the Bureaucratic agenda under the guise that reform and change is good. Organisation have to learn to corporatise with business plans to serve the needs of the elderly .
    Peaks should have been supporting and defending the issues facing the sector and its clientele .
    The casualties of this unfortunately are the elderly that are not on the radar of the My Aged Care .
    Simply because it is to daunting for them .
    So when they are not on the government data the government is not paying .it is that simple .