The new minority government presents a unique opportunity for the aged care sector, according to the Campaign for Care of Older Australians (CCOA).

The group of industry bodies and charitable aged care organisations urged the new parliament to commit to urgent reforms throughout the sector.

“Both major parties and the independents negotiated unprecedented parliamentary reforms,” CCOA said in a statement.

“We would like to see a similar approach to the reform of the aged care sector which caters for more than a million older Australians.”

The CCOA coalition’s Grand Plan campaign outlines a range of fundamental reforms and short term solutions for the sector.

It aims to secure improved choice and access to services for consumers, along with greater industry sustainability.

“The broad CCOA membership base is ready, willing and able to provide all members of parliament advice and insight into the urgent needs of older Australians and the aged care services sector,” the group said.

The Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) has also confirmed that it will promote the need for aged care reform as a priority in its negotiations with the new government.

“We have nurses and assistants in nursing working just as hard as their colleagues in the acute public health sector but earning much less,” said the union’s federal secretary, Lee Thomas. “In some cases these nurses earn up to $300 per week less.”

A month before the election, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said her government would make a commitment to the sector if it won the election.

“If re-elected, further aged care reform will be a second-term priority for my government,” Ms Gillard said.

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