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Why July is critical for the aged care sector

Will July be a gamechanger in upholding the rights of older Australians or delayed ahead of the next election?

<p>Could the Aged Care Act be delivered by the announced deadline? [Source: Shutterstock]</p>

Could the Aged Care Act be delivered by the announced deadline? [Source: Shutterstock]

Key points:

  • The new Aged Care Act is set to be delivered by July 1, 2024
  • A collective of 12 organisations detailed the key requirements of a new Aged Care Act in a submission to the Federal Government’s exposure draft
  • More than 1.5 million people receive aged care services in Australia


Advocacy organisations have called on the Federal Government to deliver a new Aged Care Act that protects and enforces the rights of older people, allows visitors in aged care at all times and supports informal carers of older people, without delay.

The 12 organisations expressed their shared support for the government’s decision to extend consultation on the exposure draft of the new Act to March 8, to ensure all voices were heard. However, the Federal Government committed to a July 1, 2024, deadline and the Act’s passage remains an urgent priority for advocates.

The extended consultation on the exposure draft for the Aged Care Act could make passage of the Act difficult in light of the newly released final report from the Aged Care Taskforce

Notably, information within the exposure draft was incredibly limited, with key recommendations from the Taskforce signaling significant changes if adopted by the government and added to the bill for passage.

If the deadline for passage is not met, the Aged Care Act could be pushed back further into 2025, a year that is marked by the upcoming Australian Federal Election — much like the delayed delivery of the Support at Home program, now set for July 1, 2025 and the delayed Commonwealth Home Support Programme transition, now slated for 2027.

The Support at Home program experienced several delays since it was first proposed — originally, it was due to launch in July 2023 before being postponed to July 2024 by the current Federal Government due to providers’ concerns.


Council on the Ageing Australia Chief Executive Officer Patricia Sparrow said older people shouldn’t have to wait any longer for the robust, enforceable rights they deserve, through the delivery of the new Aged Care Act.

“The Federal Government committed to a deadline for legislation enshrining the basic rights of older people and we’re looking forward to seeing them delivered in that timeframe,” the COTA Australia CEO said.

“We’re looking forward to working with all politicians to deliver the robust Aged Care Act we all deserve. We can’t afford to delay the fundamental rights of older people any longer.”


Older Persons Advocacy Network CEO Craig Gear said the new Aged Care Act strives for a major cultural shift in the way aged care is delivered.

“[The new Aged Care Act should correct] the current power imbalance, putting older people at its centre, rather than the organisations that are providing services.”

“Three years after the Aged Care Royal Commission handed down its final report, older people are still waiting for their human rights to be upheld. The Act’s passage remains an urgent priority for 2024.”

However, he conceded there are significant gaps in the current exposure draft, such as fees and the complaints framework, that need to be addressed before its commencement this year.

“The legislative framework must also include stronger protections around choice and control, transparency, an efficient complaints process and enforceability of rights.”


Do you think the new Aged Care Act will be delivered by July 1 or be subject to delays? Let the team at Talking Aged Care know and subscribe to the newsletter for more information, news and industry updates.


Related content:

Aged Care Taskforce report concludes taxpayers can’t foot the bill

How an ageing population permanently changed the Australian economy

What is money being spent on in Australia’s aged care sector?

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