Peak body monitoring Earle Haven: unprecedented and concerning

Release date: 17 Jul 2019

Peak body Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) has expressed shock, concern and regret over the situation that unfolded in Queensland last week with Earle Haven residents being left without care and services.

ACSA Acting CEO, Mr Darren Mathewson said, “We all believe older Australians deserve so much more than this kind of treatment.

“The exact details of how this terrible situation came about are not yet known and require proper investigation. Regardless of any back story, the outcome is clearly unacceptable.

“We are watching and monitoring very closely and are discussing this shocking incident with the Minister. The temptation is a knee jerk reaction, but we are looking forward to a seeing a measured and considered response from the Government once the investigations are completed.

“The welfare of the staff involved is a key consideration that shouldn’t be forgotten.

“ACSA is also concerned about the damage an incident such as this has on the trust of older people and their families. The reputation of the whole sector is impacted and that has national implications.

“As far as we are aware this incident is unprecedented for our sector, which is the not for profit, church and charitable providers and for-purpose providers. This sort of incident has not occurred before that we are aware of, and frankly it can’t happen again.

“Approximately 450,000 older Australians receive care from our service providers. On behalf of our members we are appalled that older Australians and their families could be left in such a terrible predicament,” he said.
ACSA is aware that the Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Senator Richard Colbeck has stepped in to direct resources to investigate the circumstances, and the Department has been providing updates to his office.

Mr Mathewson said, “Currently not everyone in Australia is getting the aged care they deserve. What we need is a better plan for ageing – for ourselves and for people older than us who needs services now. Rethinking how we approach aged care is the conversation we must be having now.
“Our providers of aged care want the same things as older Australians and their families, to have safe, quality care and services.

“People in aged care deserve to be treated with respect and to have trust in the system set up to provide services when and where they are needed,” said Mr Mathewson.

Media contact – Annette Glenister, ACSA, 0400772722

As the peak body representing church, charitable and community-based organisations providing accommodation and care services to older people, people with a disability and their carers, ACSA can be contacted for comment on issues affecting the industry.

Areas ACSA may provide media commentary on include:  

  • Aged care reforms
  • Residential aged care
  • Home care
  • Independent and retirement living
  • Housing for older Australians
  • Palliative care
  • The aged care workforce in Australia


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