Aged care priority in Richmond
LIBERAL candidate for the Federal seat of Richmond Joan van Lieshout will tackle incumbent member Justine Elliot in her area of ministerial expertise – aged care.
With its ageing population, Richmond will be made a battlefield for aged care policy, which will be a major nationwide election issue this year.
Mrs van Lieshout and Senator Fierravanti-Wells yesterday met at Ocean View Apartments, Banora Point with aged-care providers including Uniting-Care and the Tweed Valley Respite Care.
Mrs Fierravanti-Wells said the sector was in crisis.
“This sector needs major reforms. The Federal Government is not interested in making hard decisions and has instead shunted it off to the Productivity Commission for yet an- other aged-care review,” she said.
With 25 per cent of Tweed Shire’s population aged over 65, Mrs van Lieshout said aged-care reforms would be a “big part of my push as a candidate in the upcoming Federal election,” where she will be taking on Minister for Ageing Mrs Elliot.
“The issue of how we provide services and housing for our current and future senior citizens in retirement is crucial, and the need for innovative ways for providing these packages is extremely important to the Liberal Party,” Mrs van Lieshout said.
Mrs Elliot said the Government had been making up for the Coalition’s neglect of the industry when it was in power.
“Under this government aged-care funding has increased by nearly 30 per cent, and there are more than 10,000 new aged-care services delivering care.
“We believe older Australians deserve better and we are getting on with the job of reforming our health, hospitals and aged-care system. The Gillard Government is taking full policy and funding responsibility for aged care to build a nationally consistent aged-care system – something that the Opposition failed to do while they were in government.”