Senior Australians across Mallee will benefit from the single largest investment in residential aged care infrastructure in Australia’s history.
A total of $150 million in capital grants has been allocated following the conclusion of the competitive 2020 Aged Care Approvals Round (ACAR).
This substantial investment by the Australian Government has funded 72 infrastructure projects worth, on average, $2.1 million each.
It includes $4.5 million for Princes Court homes in Mildura, $4.66 million for Oasis aged care in Irymple, $4.96 for Havilah aged care in Maryborough and $350,000 for the Cohuna Village. Alongside these capital grants, there are another 13 high care places provided across Mallee, with a particular focus on dementia support.
Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services Richard Colbeck, said the investment reflects the Morrison Government’s commitment to greater respect, care and dignity for senior Australians no matter where they live.
“Investing in aged care infrastructure means we can improve the quality and safety of residential aged care from the ground up,” Minister Colbeck said.
“Safe, secure and comfortable residential care homes, designed around the needs of residents, provide the foundation for our five-pillar, five-year aged care reform plan.”
Member for Mallee, Anne Webster said the injection of funds for the region represented more than just bricks and mortar.
“This is about reinforcing the future of care for senior Australians across Mallee,” Dr Webster said.
“It offers peace-of-mind and security not only for local residents already in care but also those who are carefully considering the next phase of their life.” The 2020 ACAR also includes the allocation of over 4000 residential care places and more than 1000 short-term restorative care places worth a combined $380 million a year.
Minister Colbeck said most of these new places will take effect immediately or within the next 18 months.
“I’m delighted with the response by providers that demonstrated their capacity to fast-track the delivery of quality care to senior Australians,” Minister Colbeck said. “As a result, twice as many residential care places have been allocated than were made available for allocation”.
Priority locations were also a focus, with more than half of the new places allocated to areas most in need, including in regional and remote Australia.
Information about the 2020 ACAR outcomes, including details of the successful providers is available here.
Discontinuation of the ACAR – What’s next?
The conclusion of the 2020 ACAR marks the start of a transition period to a new system as the Morrison Government continues to respond to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
Residential care places
As announced in the 2021-22 Budget, from 1 July 2024, residential care places will be allocated directly to senior Australians, providing more choice and control over which approved provider delivers their care. Minister Colbeck said this will strengthen the residential aged care market, with providers having greater incentives to develop high quality and innovative models of care and accommodation.
Providers will continue receiving direct Government funding on their behalf.
“Under these changes, new and existing providers will no longer need to apply for and be allocated places,” Minister Colbeck said. “This will give them greater freedom to adjust and expand service offerings and better meet demand.
“During the transition period, providers holding places will still be able to bring their places into effect and start delivering care.”
In addition, providers who do not hold places and yet are eager to deliver care prior to 1 July 2024 will have the opportunity to seek an allocation of places through a non-competitive process.
Consultation with senior Australians and the aged care sector on the design and implementation of the changes to residential care starts shortly.
Capital funding will continue to be allocated directly to providers through grant processes outside of the ACAR.
The Morrison Government will continue to invest in aged care infrastructure for groups most in need, including First Nations people and people living in regional and remote areas.
The 2021-22 Budget included $396.9 million over five years for capital investment to enable aged care providers to make improvements to their buildings and build new services.
Short-Term Restorative Care places
The Short-Term Restorative Care (STRC) program will continue to operate until 1 July 2023 when the Support at Home program commences. It will bring together STRC with the Commonwealth home support program, home care packages and residential respite programs.