News digest

Coalition axes ACNC; new workplace safety campaign; large VET contract for LASA Vic; centre for health economy launched.

In this story:

  • Coalition axes charities regulator
  • Workplace safety campaign targets aged care
  • LASA Victoria secures large VET contract
  • New centre for health economy launched


Kevin Andrews
Kevin Andrews

Coalition axes charities regulator

The Federal Government will abolish the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission and replace it with a “smaller sector-focussed” centre for excellence, Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews has confirmed. Mr Andrews said on Tuesday no evidence had been provided to justify such a “big regulatory structure with such extensive enforcement powers”, and the government would introduce repeal legislation into Parliament early next year.

In a statement, the minister said the new centre would provide education, training and development opportunities to the sector and would have its ownership transferred to the sector.

The axing of the ACNC and its replacement centre was foreshadowed by Mr Andrews prior to the election.

Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh described the move as “regressive and shallow policy” made on the run.

He said the ACNC was the result of years of consultation with the sector and had earned its strong backing.

“The sector supports an independent regulator as a one-stop shop to strengthen charities, grow their profile and reduce red tape over time. The ACNC is based on a robust Productivity Commission inquiry,” said Mr Leigh.

Workplace safety campaign targets aged care

Workplace safety authorities have begun inspecting residential aged care facilities as part of a campaign to reduce staff manual handling injuries.

Coordinated by the Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities, state and territory inspectors will visit more than 500 residential aged care facilities in South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory to review facility policies and procedures.

Bryan Russell, executive director of SafeWork SA, said the campaign would review compliance with workplace safety laws and ensure that risks associated with resident handling are being effectively managed. He said the inspections would be announced in that state.

He said almost 60 per cent of manual handling injuries in residential aged care facilities happen when nurses and carers move residents.

Work site visits commenced December 2.

LASA Vic secures large VET contract

In other workforce news, Leading Age Services Australia – Victoria has secured a three-year vocational education training funding contract from Skills Victoria to expand its aged care training division.

While LASA Victoria welcomed the extended contract, it said it followed a recent reduction in available funding per student to deliver aged care training.

This was the first time a three-year contract had been offered to the state peak body’s RTO.

Diana FitzGerald, LASA Victoria’s general manager training, said the Victorian aged care workforce needed to triple by 2050.

New centre for health economy launched

To help inform policy and debate about meeting future healthcare needs, Macquarie University has launched a new research, advocacy and educational body, the Centre for the Health Economy.

The centre’s first two cornerstone studies will examine the National Disability Insurance Scheme and e-health and connected care.

Professor Janet Greeley, Executive Dean at Macquarie University’s Faculty of Human Sciences, said the centre, formally launched on 5 December, would bring together all areas of health including disability, ageing, community care, health insurance as well as e-health and mental health.

The Centre for the Health Economy has already undertaken a joint research project looking at the role of self-care in driving better healthcare outcomes for Australians.

Tags: acnc, kevin-andrews, LASA Victoria, workplace safety,

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