Royal Commission must now recommend solutions

Release date: 31 Oct 2019

The Royal Commission’s historic interim report says as a country we can do better in supporting older Australians.  ACSA, the peak body for non-profit aged care providers Aged and Community Services (ACSA) agrees and says it must now investigate specific financing and workforce solutions.


“The Royal Commission has been important to expose significant problems and challenges. We can do better and we will do better. Now we hope it will investigate specific care models and set the standard of what is required to fix them and ensure older Australians get the care they deserve,” ACSA CEO Patricia Sparrow said.

“It’s not a surprise to anyone there are failures in aged care. We are living longer than ever before and our health needs are increasingly complex. The system wasn’t set up for this.

“So far, the understandable focus on mistakes of the past has put investigation of possible financing models and big picture solutions on the back burner.

“It’s fantastic that the Royal Commission has been able to recommend three priority areas and we are going to examine the detail and work constructively with government to progress these immediately.

“It’s very important to hear when and how things have gone wrong, but unless we get specific recommendations about how government, providers and the community can work together to better plan for our ageing population – new rules will be meaningless and impossible to realise.

“Strengthening and improving aged care in Australia will require more than just new rules. Absolutely critical will be new funding solutions and large-scale community education about ageing and aged care.

“We now need specific hearings and dedicated time to investigate the big picture solutions  We need in-depth investigation about how to fund the necessary changes and improvements.

 “Not for profit aged care providers are optimistic about where this is going. We don’t need to be defensive, because we are determined to own up to mistakes and take a constructive path forward.

“There are some hard conversations that are still being avoided. The big improvements we are working towards in aged care at the moment won’t be fully realised unless we see a commensurate response on the structure of and funding for the sector, and the entire community taking responsibility for our ageing population.” Ms Sparrow said.


ACSA has identified five urgent priorities that can be progressed immediately to sure up sector viability  while the Royal Commission investigates big picture solutions and develops its final report and recommendations


  1. Extend the short-term 9.5% funding injection into residential care, tied to investing in staffing, training and other workforce matters based on local and organisational needs, until the Royal Commission’s broader recommendations can be implemented.

  2. Urgent boost of 40,000 level 3 and 4 Home Care Packages (in 2019-20) that is the main cause of the backlog in waiting lists and is forcing people into hospital or residential care prematurely.

  3. Keep rural and regional Australians in their communities by increasing the rural and remote supplement by $10 per day.

  4. Address the oral health crisis in aged care with MBS provider numbers for dental hygienists or oral health therapists to prevent dental issues progressing into more serious medical issues.

  5. Bring forward the 30% increase to the homeless supplement so that it is fully realised in the 2019/2020 year.



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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