ADF support considered for aged care crisis

Mr Albanese said aged care residents and workers deserved a better minister.

“This is a crisis in the sector. And this Minister has failed before. And he continues to fail. What do you have to do to lose your job under this Government? If Richard Colbeck had any integrity, he would resign,” he said on ABC Breakfast.

Mr Colbeck faced a senate COVID committee hearing earlier this week where he defended his decision to attend a three-day test cricket match as coronavirus spread through facilities, infecting residents and workers.

But the Aged Care Services minister has not appeared on television or radio this week. Finance Minister Simon Birmingham was asked on Sky News why Mr Colbeck was not facing the media.

“The minister I know is engaged in daily briefings, discussions, making sure all of those different logistics and supply chain issues are continuously being addressed that the disruptions that occur to them,” he said.


The federal government says 99 per cent of aged care facilities have been visited for booster clinics, but the senate COVID-19 committee heard on Wednesday that about a third of all double-vaccinated residents were yet to receive a booster.

A situation report by aged care peak body group the Australian Aged Care Collaboration said as of January 28, 47 per cent of facilities had active outbreaks, and nearly 13,600 staff caught the virus in just over a month to January 28 this year.

Chief executive of Aged and Community Services Australia Paul Sadler said the sector needs more support from the government.

“What we have all learned is a transmissible disease, in the way Omicron has been, can overwhelm all of our preparedness very quickly,” he said. “Our traditional modes of preparing …clearly weren’t enough.”

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