The Australian Government is delivering the largest ever pay rise to aged care workers, investing $11.3 billion to fund the Fair Work Commission’s interim decision for a 15% increase. Better, fairer pay will help attract and retain workers, while training programs will advance skills, enrich aged care careers and improve quality care. This package will provide cost-of-living relief for over 250,000 aged care workers and be the largest ever pay increase in the history of the Fair Work Act.
Funding arrangements with providers will be put in place to deliver the increased wages, and a National Worker Registration Scheme will be progressed with $59.5 million over 4 years. A new regulatory framework and prudential model ($72.3 million in 2023–24) will enable changes in how providers are regulated, and be complemented by action to improve aged care residents’ dining experiences and food and nutrition reporting ($12.9 million over 2 years). A new Aged Care Taskforce will be established to review aged care funding arrangements, and an Aged Care Viability Support program will be funded with $98.7 million over 2 years.
The Government will invest $166.8 million for an additional 9,500 home care packages in 2023–24, and $487 million over 4 years to extend the Disability Support for Older Australians program. First Nations elders, their families and carers, will have better access to culturally safe care with $77.3 million over 4 years, and an interim First Nations Aged Care Commissioner will help address barriers to accessing care with $1.6 million.
Older people will benefit from more integrated care delivered by their chosen primary care provider, with $112 million over 4 years to increase access to primary care for aged care residents.
This historic package restores dignity to aged care and ensures older Australians are treated with the respect they deserve.