News digest

Anger over increases to NSW workers comp rate; NT’s new aged care provider; call to better investigate financial abuse; celebrating dementia carers at high tea event.


In this story:

  • Anger over increases to NSW workers comp rate
  • NT’s new aged care provider
  • Call to better investigate financial abuse
  • Celebrating dementia carers at high tea event
Anger over increases to NSW workers comp rates

The NSW aged care sector is seeking a meeting with the State Government’s Treasurer and Finance Minister following unexpected increases in workers compensation premiums.

Leading Age Services Australia NSW-ACT CEO Charles Wurf said the new Industry Claims Cost Rates (ICCR) released by WorkCover last Friday equated to significant increases in premiums for providers of age services that would threaten the viability of many providers and impact on employment within the industry.

“We are already receiving reports of workers compensation premiums unexpectedly increasing by up to 30 percent. Some providers will now need to find hundreds of thousands of dollars extra to meet their insurance obligations,” he said.

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This news follows the Commonwealth Budget measure to stop paying the payroll tax supplement to aged care providers.

“Age service providers have now had two financial shocks in a matter of weeks. Our industry is seeking to urgently meet with the Treasurer, Andrew Constance, and the Minister for Finance and Services, Dominic Perrottet, to provide a frank and clear assessment of the damage being done to the viability of the age services industry,” Mr Wurf said.

NT’s new aged care provider

Assistant Minister for Social Services Mitch Fifield has officially launched the Northern Territory’s newest aged care organisation in Darwin this week.

Australian Regional and Remote Community Services (ARRCS), which is a not-for-profit company of the Uniting Church of Australia, takes over the former Frontier Services aged care services from July.

Frontier Services staff are transferring to ARRCS, which will operate eight residential care facilities and 11 community care programs in Darwin, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Katherine, Mutitjulu, and Docker River.

ARRCS executive director Robyn Batten said the change of ownership would enable a range of improvements to residential and community aged care services for people in the most remote parts of Australia.

In addition to being a service group of aged care provider UnitingCare Queensland, ARRCS is supported by Blue Care, which has 60 years of experience in aged care including in remote areas, she said.

ARRCS launch image credit Shane Eecen
From left: Natasha Griggs, Member for Solomon, Anne Cross, CEO UnitingCare Queensland, Mark Diamond, director, Robyn Batten, executive director Blue Care, and Assistant Minister for Social Services Mitch Fifield. Image Shane Eecen
Call to better investigate financial abuse

preventing financial abuse of people with dementiaAlzheimer’s Australia NSW has called for the introduction of a Public Advocate to receive and investigate reports of financial abuse.

The organisation said there was currently no clear mechanism in place in NSW for people to report suspected cases.

The peak body’s CEO John Watkins said, disturbingly, financial abuse was often perpetrated within families, or by people who were known to the person with dementia.

“Some of the stories told to us were appalling, including people being stripped of hundreds of thousands of dollars or, in some cases, their homes. In a considerable proportion of the cases, the abuse was carried out by the person who had been granted the Power of Attorney who was clearly not acting in the interests of the person with dementia.”

The recommendation is contained in a discussion paper launched by the peak body at NSW Parliament House today.

Alzheimer’s Australia NSW also recommended NSW Police create vulnerable communities officer positions in each local area command to help support victims of financial abuse.

Celebrating dementia carers at high tea event

HighTeaAtTheHilton (2)

People caring for a loved one living with dementia are invited to attend a free high tea at the Hilton Sydney on June 25 to say thank you for the contribution they make.

The event organised by HammondCare will give carers a chance to meet others facing similar circumstances and gain access to resources and support.

Guests can choose from a dozen 10-minute informal information sessions covering a broad range of topics such as communication tips, maintaining friendships and finding hope when it hurts. Carers at the event will also be able to enjoy performances from a barber-shop singing group and a free massage session.

Marie Alford, the Operations Manager of HammondCare’s Dementia Centre, said the physical and emotional demands of caring for someone with dementia presented unique challenges. “So often they care without recognition of their own needs,” she said. 


The High Tea at the Hilton is supported by funding from the Department of Social Services and HammondCare, with additional support from exhibitors at the International Dementia Conference.

Carers can register their attendance by calling Kate on 02 8437 7355 or by emailing


Tags: alzheimers-australia-nsw, Australian-Regional-and-Remote-Community-Services, blue-care, charles-wurf, financial-abuse, frontier-services, lasa-nsw-act, northern-territory, robyn-batten, workers-compensation,

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