$100m-plus for rural, remote and homeless services

The funding will go towards upgrading and expanding aged care homes and improving home care service delivery.

Multi-millions of dollars are to be funnelled into rural and remote communities across Australia as well as services serving older homeless people to improve access to aged care services, the government has announced this week.

The $135 million investment – made through Round 1 of the Aged Care Capital Assistance Program – announced on Wednesday will deliver 68 infrastructure projects outside of metropolitan areas as well eight city-based projects for specialist homeless services.

Source: Department of Health and Aged Care

The largest grants in each state, according to the list of successful grant applicants, have gone to:

  • in NSW, St Vincent de Paul Society’s Frederic House in Waterloo received $9,782,324 for its specialised homelessness services
  • in Victoria, Respect Group’s Avonlea in Nhill received $7,681,202 for upgrades, expansions or new builds
  • in Queensland, Central & Upper Burnett District Home in Gayndah received $4,278,307 for staff accommodation
  • in WA, Juniper Gerdewoonem in Kununurra received $5,239,367 for staff accommodation.
  • in SA, Matthew Flinders Home in Port Lincoln received $12,850,000 for upgrades, expansions or new builds
  • in Tasmania, West Coast District Hospital’s Lyell House in Queenstown received $5,741,000 for upgrades, expansions or new builds
  • in the NT’s Calvary Home Care Services’ Mulakunya Flexible Aged Care Service in Nguiu received $6,706,562 for staff accommodation.

In all, more than $60 million will be spent across 30 locations to support aged care providers to upgrade and expand their aged care homes, increase the number of beds, and improve home care service delivery to better meet the needs of older people in remote and very remote locations.

A further $49 million will support 27 providers to plug shortages in staff accommodation to attract and retain more workers so as to ensure 24/7 registered nurse requirements are met, care minutes are increased and reliance on agency staff is reduced.

Meanwhile, $22 million of funding will go towards supporting eight specialised services to improve access to aged care for older people at risk of homelessness.

And $3 million will be spent to enable 11 National Aboriginal and Torres Islander Flexible Aged Care Program providers to deliver more culturally appropriate care to First Nations communities in the NT and WA. The largest grant under this stream has gone to the Central Desert Regional Council’s Anmatjere Flexible Aged Care Service in the NT town of Ti Tree, with a $826,890 grant.

Anika Wells

“These capital grants ensure appropriate supports are in place for aged care providers to maintain the viability and sustainability of their operations, especially in areas of need,” said Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells. The grants have been allocated so that older people “have the support they deserve regardless of where they live,” she added.

Malarndirri McCarthy

Assistant Minister for Indigenous Affairs Malarndirri McCarthy said the funding will enable First Nations people to remain close to their families. “Elders play such an important role in our communities and it’s essential they are provided the best care and support.”

A further round of funding – due to open in the second half of 2024 – will broaden eligibility to all regional, rural and remote locations with the continued aim of improving access to aged care services for First Nations communities nationwide, including those in urban settings.

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Tags: Aged Care Capital Assistance Program, anika wells, Malarndirri McCarthy,

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