Aged care bill passes Senate after amendment to require 24/7 nurses

The government needs to pass the bill before it rolls out its new funding model for the sector in October, along with pre-employment screening for aged care workers and a serious incident response scheme for home care.

But it delayed bringing on the bill for Senate debate over multiple sittings, finally adding it to the list on Wednesday after Senator Patrick signalled he would move a procedural motion to have it debated.

The bill passed during a late Senate sitting at 9pm. It was also amended by Centre Alliance Senator Stirling Griff to require the health department to make public aged care providers’ financial reports and statements.

Earlier, Senator Patrick blasted the government for initially leaving the bill off a list of 20 pieces of legislation to be pushed through on the final day of Senate sitting before the election, saying: “That is an absolute disgrace.”

The government will not have time for a second attempt at passing the bill through the Senate, which will be devoted to estimates hearing for the rest of this sitting period.

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