REFORM of the aged care sector is being urged to continue even during the royal commission.
The terms of reference for the royal commission, released on Tuesday, have been widely welcomed, but there are concerns it could slow down change in the industry.
Commissioners West Australian Supreme Court judge Joseph McGrath and Lynelle Briggs will release their interim report into the aged care sector on October 31 next year, with a final report due on April 30, 2020.
Ms Briggs, a former Australian Public Service Commissioner, is “content” with the timelines for delivering the reports, believing it is sufficient time for her and Justice McGrath.
“What we have to do is undertake our work and it’s very clear the government is open to suggestions that we might take as we take as we go forward,” she told ABC Radio on Tuesday.
Leading seniors advocacy group, COTA Australia, believes the issues facing the industry are too serious to delay making progress on.
“While we are cognisant of the time and processes involved with a royal commission, we don’t want a situation emerging where the government slows down on reform,” COTA Australia chief executive Ian Yates said.
Labor’s spokeswoman for ageing Julie Collins said the government needed to act now rather than wait for the findings.
“With the commission not reporting until 2020, the government has more than 13 reports sitting on its desk about things that it knows are wrong today,” Ms Collins told reporters on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he was confident the royal commission won't slow up much-needed changes.
“The royal commission is of course important and it is in addition to all of the things we have already initiated,” he said.
“All of the additional funding we are already providing and we will be getting on with our job as a government to deliver quality aged services.”