Have your say on the PC draft

The PC has reminded interested stakeholders to contribute to the process of aged care reform by providing a written or verbal submission to the Commission soon.

By Yasmin Noone

The Productivity Commission (PC) is reminding individuals, organisations and advocacy groups to strike while the iron is hot and provide either written or verbal feedback about its recently released draft report from its inquiry into aged care.  

Interested stakeholders can provide the Commission with either a written submission by Monday, 21 March or they can present their opinions verbally at one of the many public hearings happening throughout the country over March and April.

Commissioner from the Caring for Older Australians inquiry, Robert Fitzgerald, told AAA that although the draft report was a very comprehensive document, there is definitely room for change.

“The draft report is a ‘draft’ report,” Commissioner Fitzgerald said.

“We take a strong view that we need to place on the record, both our draft considerations and findings, which people then have an opportunity to respond to specifically.

“But, it’s important for people to understand that the draft is a document that [is designed] to illicit further information and responses, which will inform the final report.

“The final report may be different from the draft and in some respects, it certainly will be…We are very open to making alterations to the draft recommendations, based on fresh evidence or fresh opinions.”

Commissioner Fitzgerald said, that, as is the case with some inquiries, public hearings are held before the issue of the draft report. But, he said, “…with the Caring for Australians inquiry, the Commission decided that the hearings would be best timed to occur after the report so people can raise specific issues from the draft.

“Written submissions, ongoing private consultations and public hearing submissions will all be considered in the lead up to the final report. We will take into account, all of the information together, for our ongoing research and investigation.”

At each of the public hearings, participants will be able to elaborate on their submissions and discuss their issues and concerns with the Commissioners.

Any organisation or person can participate, either to appear and discuss their submissions or to observe the proceedings.

He also emphasised how important it is for interested stakeholders to take up this one-off opportunity to be involved in the reform of the sector.

“For some people, it is important that they bring out their key points in a public forum, on the public record which is available to the community at large.

“The public hearings therefore provide an extraordinarily good opportunity for individuals, organisations and advocacy groups to place their opinion on the public record and to enter into a public dialogue with the Commissioners.

“…This inquiry represents the single best chance for reform in the area of aged care that we have seen. Therefore this is the single best chance for people to put on the record their particular views and have those considered, not only by the Commission, but by the government.

“I can’t stress how important it is that if you have a particular issue, to put it in writing or put it on the record at a hearing—not only to inform the Commission but to also inform the government’s thinking about reform in this area.”

Public hearing details

Monday 21 March, 8.30am-5pm
Venue: Productivity Commission, Rattigan Room, Level 28, 35 Collins St, Melbourne

Thursday 24 March, 8.30am-5pm
Venue: Hotel Grand Chancellor, 1 Davey Street, Hobart

Friday 25 March, 8.30am-5pm and
Thursday 7 April, 8.30am- 5pm
Venue: Rendezvous Hotel, 244 Ann Street, Brisbane

Monday 28 March, 8.30am-5pm
Venue: Adina Apartment Hotel, 359 Crown Street, Surry Hills

Thursday 31 March, 8.30am-5pm
Venue: Stamford Grand, Moseley Square, Glenelg

Friday 1 April, 8.30am-5pm
Novotel Hotel, 221 Adelaide Terrace, Perth

Tuesday 5 April, 8.30am- 5pm
Venue: Productivity Commission Level 2, 15 Moore Street, Canberra City

To present a submission at the hearings, or attend as an observer, complete the registration form and return it to the Commission as soon as possible. Or, contact Jill Irvine at the Commission by calling 02 6240 3223.

People with particular access or communication requirements, should contact also the PC, prior to the hearings, to ensure availability.

For more information click here.

Tags: caring-for-older-australians, draft-report, productivity-commission, robert-fitzgerald,

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