Labor wrong on aged care response


Rebecca White is completely wrong on aged care and shouldn’t play politics with such a sensitive issue.

There is no doubt that Tasmania’s aged care sector has been impacted heavily by the COVID-19 pandemic and both the State and Federal Governments are doing all we can to support them through it.

Since late March, the Department of Premier and Cabinet and the Department of Health has been meeting regularly with representatives of the Aged Care Sector in Tasmania, including the three industry peak bodies and members of those peaks to ensure their preparedness should an outbreak occur.

National Cabinet has endorsed a plan to boost aged care preparedness for rapid emergency response to COVID-19, and has provided additional support for the sector – with total aged care funding now more than $1 billion.

Joint Commonwealth and State plans are underway that include activities such as infection control training, consideration of compulsory use of face masks, workforce controls and the use of private hospital resources, as well as the establishment of Aged Care Emergency Response Operations Centres, which the State is currently in the process of establishing.

Despite Rebecca White’s false assertions of a ‘deadline’, this work is ongoing between the States and the Commonwealth and is being rapidly progressed.

Visits have already begun to aged care sites this week to discuss levels of preparedness, including outbreak management plans and identification of areas where assistance is required.

Public Health Services have also facilitated a series of webinars focussed on areas of interest to the Sector, as well as developing a Toolkit for use by Residential Aged Care Facilities.