The Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) is confident that the Rudd Government has been paying attention to its aged care campaign.

 

The federation’s national secretary, Ged Kearney said the campaign has been well received by senior government figures including Health and Ageing Minister, Nicola Roxon.

 

Ms Roxon addressed the ANF’s national conference in Sydney last week, where she talked about the challenges of an ageing population.

 

“She has heard our message loud and clear and she is talking to her cabinet colleagues about what can be done in the next budget,” said Ms Kearney.

 

“Our main message is that we need to close the wages gap and instigate minimum staffing and skill levels. Neither of those options is cheap but we would appreciate some acknowledgement of those issues in the budget.”

 

In the current stage of the ‘Because we care’ campaign, the ANF has been encouraging aged care staff members and community supporters to send postcards to their local MPs.

 

“We are very pleased with how the campaign has been going,” Ms Kearney said.

 

“There is broad public and community support for our objectives and the message is being received from the prime minister’s office right down to the various committees and senators.”

 

The ANF also paid tribute to Ageing Minister Justine Elliot who recently received over 15,000 signed charters for quality aged care.

 

“We were really pleased that she agreed to do that,” Ms Kearney said. “She has been a very good ear for us and she has been very open to discussion about our concerns.”

 

The federation is currently preparing its submission for the coming budget ahead of its campaign in the lead up to next year’s election.

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