The Queensland aged care industry has welcomed a decision in the state budget that means residential aged care facilities will be exempt from land tax.
The announcement confirms that aged care homes will be treated like retirement villages, which are also exempt from the tax.
Aged Care Queensland CEO, Allan Pidgeon congratulated state Treasurer Andrew Fraser for recognising the importance of aged care.
“This practical support by the Bligh Government for aged care providers will help drive the care dollar further at a time when budgets are stretched to breaking point by rising costs,” he said.
States such as New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia have already implemented similar policies.
The Commonwealth Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot has also said she is pleased with the announcement.
“This is a welcome move that will benefit older Australians by lowering the operating costs for aged care homes,” Mrs Elliot said.
“Aged care providers will now be able to provide more funds to spend on providing quality care rather than paying State tax.”
The Queensland Government said it hopes to have the budget measure in place by the beginning of next year.
Mr Pidgeon said: “Along with the town planning reforms foreshadowed by the Qld Department of Infrastructure and Planning, the Budget announcement will help our state prepare for the ageing of the population.”
There are currently around 500 services providing more than 30,000 residential aged care places in Queensland.