Page 1943 - Week 06 - Thursday, 9 June 2022
I suspect that members would be aware of a very big issue: the mess that the previous Liberal government has left in aged care and the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and the impacts that that has had on public hospitals across Australia. These impacts were so significant that all state and territory health ministers, Liberal and Labor, wrote to the then federal Liberal government with sensible solutions to address the bed block caused by their mismanagement of aged care and the NDIS.
I was very heartened, throughout the last year and through the election campaign, to see the Albanese Labor government’s suite of commitments to properly responding to the aged-care royal commission’s recommendations and to go about fixing the NDIS. These are landmark Labor reforms. The Albanese Labor government has committed $2½ billion in aged-care funding across the forward estimates to lift care equality standards and improve health outcomes, including making it mandatory to have a registered nurse on site 24 hours a day in residential aged-care facilities.
To ensure that the ACT has the workforce in the future to meet this commitment to aged care, the new government has committed up to $23 million to the national nurse and midwife health service. This service will provide current ACT nurses with personalised and professional support services, enabling our nursing workforce to continue caring for Canberrans. This will be a critical contribution to improving aged care and relieving the pressure on the ACT hospital system.
I look forward to discussing public hospital funding reform as well with the new health minister, as, I know, do all of my state and territory health minister colleagues after the former government refused to engage on this important topic.
MR DAVIS: My question is to the Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction. Minister, I understand that yesterday you went to the national energy ministers meeting and discussed the nation’s energy crisis. What has caused surging prices in energy across the country and how is the ACT different?
MR RATTENBURY: Yes, the energy ministers did meet virtually yesterday afternoon, in an online meeting. It was good to see a direction from the new federal minister indicating his desire to work in a collaborative manner with the states and territories, and his desire to share information and have more frequent meetings. It has been a long time since there has been an energy ministers meeting, as the commonwealth had not convened one for some period of time. I am encouraged by the direction shown by the new federal energy minister and the response from all states and territories, who indicated a desire to work in that spirit and to address the serious issues facing Australia’s energy sector.
In terms of why we are seeing price rises, this was obviously a key issue for energy ministers yesterday, to look at what measures could be taken in the short term, and to understand the state of the market. We were briefed extensively by the energy regulators. Some of the factors that have helped to create this situation in Australia are that Australia’s coal-fired power generators have been failing more frequently. This