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Labor wins Federal Election; Anthony Albanese is 31st Prime Minister

The Labor Party came out on top this Federal Election and is expected to form a majority Government, with new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese sworn into office today.

Anthony Albanese has been named the next Prime Minister of Australia and will be leading the new Labor Government. [Source: ABC live]

Aged care was a key priority for the Labor Party, committing an additional $2.5 billion for the aged care sector if elected, as well as numerous other commitments to bolster the struggling industry.

During PM Albanese's winning speech on Saturday, he thanked Australians for the honour of being voted the country's next leader.

"The Australian people have voted for change. I am humbled by this victory and I'm honoured to be given the opportunity to serve as the 31st Prime Minister of Australia," says PM Albanese.

"My Labor team will work every day to bring Australians together. And I will lead a Government worthy of the people of Australia. A Government as courageous and hardworking and caring as the Australian people are themselves.

"I want Australia to continue to be a country that no matter where you live, who you worship, who you love or what your last name is, that places no restrictions on your journey in life."

Mr Albanese says he campaigned for a better future for the country and that his philosophy is "no one left behind" and "no one held back".

He wants to see an economy that works for the people of Australia and not the other way around.

On top of that, he highlighted the intention to support the outcome of the Fair Work Commission for aged care workers and to champion aged care reform.

"Together we can fix the crisis in aged care."

So far, only a few cabinet members have been announced for the new Ministry, which doesn't include the Minister of Aged Care and Older Australians.

While a minister hasn't been announced, the former Shadow Minister for Older Australians and Aged Care, Clare O'Neil, has been a strong advocate for the industry and older people over the past year.

Next Wednesday, the entire Albanese Cabinet will be sworn into Government.

Former PM Scott Morrison congratulated Anthony Albanese and the Labor Party on their Election win, and also announced his intention to stand down from leadership of the Liberal Party.

He said during his concession speech on Saturday that it will be a difficult time for Liberals and Nationals around the country and that elections can be a humbling time.

"What Australians have endured over the past few years have shown a tremendous depth of character, resilience and strength, and each and every day, I have had the great privilege to lead this great nation over the last more than three and a half years. The one thing I have always counted on, has been the strength, resilience and character of the Australian people," says Mr Morrison.

"To my colleagues tonight who have had to deal with very difficult news and have lost their seats tonight, I, as leader, have taken responsibility for the wins and the losses, that is the burden and the responsibility of leadership.

"We have been a strong Government, we have been a good Government, Australia is stronger as a result of our efforts over the last three terms. And over the next three years, I have no doubt under the strong leadership of our Coalition, three years from now I am looking forward to the return of a Coalition Government."

Industry congratulates new PM and Government

Aged care peak bodies have congratulated the incoming Government and are looking forward to working together on important aged care reforms.

The Australian Aged Care Collaboration (AACC), a group of six peak bodies, wants the new Government to deliver on its aged care reform promises as a priority over the next 100 days in office.

This group says to ensure older Australians are supported and receive the care they deserve, there needs to be "ambitious and immediate action".

AACC Spokesperson, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) and interim CEO of the new Aged & Community Care Providers Association (ACCPA), Paul Sadler, says the sector looks forward to working together on aged care issues and fixes.

"The outcome of a new Government has set the stage for ongoing dialogue on positive reforms in Australia's aged care sector," explains Mr Sadler.

"With a new Government comes a new playing field. We're keen to see issues such as funding, workforce, and wages taken seriously by the new Labor Government, with the support of a large crossbench committed to serving their local communities.

"Support for the Fair Work Commission wage case is welcome and we'd like to see this accompanied by immediate funding to mitigate the current situation in aged care as the case progresses.

"Improvements to our aged care system was a high priority for Australians, who have no doubt seen and experienced the shortfalls in the sector throughout the pandemic. They know what needs to change and we expect it to remain topical as people look to hold the new Government accountable in its early days."

The AACC highlighted that Labor made a number of pledges, which they look forward to seeing actioned.

This includes an increase in the nurse workforce and aged care resident minutes, and backing the aged care worker Fair Work Commission case for a 25 percent pay rise.

Since the crossbench is expected to be larger this term, the AACC wants to see collaboration between the sitting Government and the crossbench members.

The AACC says that this Election has put a spotlight on the need for ambitious action that will benefit older Australians and increased pay for aged care workers, and the organisation will be looking forward to working with the new Minister for Aged Care once announced.

National Seniors Australia, peak body for older Australians, also congratulated the new Prime Minister and Government, saying that this change will represent new hope for all older people in Australia.

The organisation also acknowledged outgoing Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his Coalition Government for their service, noting their roles in calling the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and taking action on the aged care crisis.

Chief Advocate of National Seniors, Ian Henschke, says he is looking forward to working alongside the Government to ensure a focus on aged care and retirement income policies that will benefit older Australians.

"This represents a significant opportunity for the new administration to connect with millions of older Australians on a range of policy issues," says Mr Henschke.

"We have had productive discussions [about the Let Pensioners Work campaign] issue with Labor while in Opposition.

"But it’s now time to turn that talk into action and I will be seeking discussions on taking this forward.

"There are more than two and a half million pensioners in Australia, and many would benefit from our proposed reform if they choose to work, especially women, many of whom retire with little or no superannuation."

Mr Henschke highlighted that Labor's commitment to climate change was also a key priority for older voters.

National Seniors wants to see the new Government give older Australians a "seat at the table" for future summits.

National social advocacy organisation, Anglicare Australia, has welcomed and congratulated the new Prime Minister and the Labor Party for their Election victory, and has pledged to work with the new Government to create a fairer Australia.

Kasy Chambers, Executive Director of Anglicare Australia, says the new Government will face major challenges in the country.

"Hundreds of thousands of Australians are struggling to find an affordable home. People on the lowest incomes are struggling to make ends meet. And the aged care sector is struggling as we all learn to live with COVID-19," says Ms Chambers.

"That’s why three quarters of Australians polled before the Election said they want action on wages, welfare, and climate change over tax cuts. We owe it to them to take action."

Ms Chambers says Anglicare Australia supports the new Government's commitment to fixing incomes and living costs for people in tough situations, including promises to reform Centrelink payments, and fund social and affordable housing.

On top of this, Anglicare Australia says the new Government's pledge to aged care will benefit the sector.

"Finally, it’s never been clearer that we need action on aged care. Labor’s commitments on aged care are a good start. Now we hope to work with the new Government to make the Royal Commission’s recommendations a reality," explains Ms Chambers.

"We know what we need to do to make Australia fairer – invest in affordable housing, raise incomes, take action on climate change, and ensure a dignified life for older people."


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