Victorian Budget fails to deliver enough aged care initiatives

Aged care providers and consumer groups have expressed disappointment in the Victorian Government for failing to deliver the full extent of the sector’s 2010/11 State Budget wish list.

The Victorian Government will have to work hard to secure the trust of aged care providers and consumer groups in the lead up to the state election, having failed to deliver all that the sector was hoping for in this week’s 2010/11 budget.

While Brumby’s budget provided welcome initiatives, including continued growth in HACC services, land tax relief and a focus on in-home mental health services, the sector has asked the state government to step up their support for aged and community care.

The financial plan ignored Aged and Community Care Victoria (ACCV)’s call for a comprehensive investment package, worth $109 million, to make aged care services and retirement communities greener in response to the climate change threat.

ACCV CEO, Gerard Mansour, expressed his disappointment at this fact but said the association will continue to work with the government to ensure further funding and greater support.
“Whilst aged care is predominantly a federal responsibility – we need to see more active involvement of the state government in building the industry in Victoria, particularly in the area of environmental initiatives,” said Mr Mansour

“We have been saying that for some time. It’s one of those areas that would be a win-win for the government and the industry. We have commenced and will continue discussions with the government and the opposition in the lead up to the election for supporting older Victorians.”

Council on the Ageing (COTA) Victoria have expressed frustration with the Brumby government for not addressing the issues which impact upon senior Victorians.

“We’ve been working and supporting the government, for some years in fact, on an ‘ageing in Victoria’ framework and we are yet to see that,” said CEO of COTA Victoria, Sue Hendy.

“My sense is that you have a framework, you then apply funds and resources, you come in behind it and you then have a more strategic approach. That’s instead of a bit here and a bit there- so it’s a bit hard to see where [the government] is heading at this point.

“We are disappointed that we don’t have the framework and we are disappointed that we don’t have the budget that actually enables an ‘age-friendly’ Victoria.

The premier’s saving grace, according to Ms Hendy, is the fact that 2010 is an election year.

“It is interesting that 20 per cent of our population are seniors and about 50 percent are people aged over 50. So that is 50 percent of your voting public that is in the over 50 age group.

“I’m sure that [Premier Brumby] is aware of his need to focus on seniors…Maybe he is saving the sweeteners for the election?”

Tags: accv, aged, budget, care, victorian,

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