The Lack of Care in Indigenous Aged Care

In keeping with the theme for this week, the ACT government has again shown its lack of interest and care for indigenous Canberrans. Today, I sought advice from the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development about the care facilities for indigenous older people.

There is a growing need for culturally appropriate housing for our indigenous older people. In late 2016, the ACT Government finally complete 5 two-bedroom units in Kambah, but this is not anywhere near enough for the growing population of older indigenous residents.

For the 2016 election, the ACT Labor Party promised to spend a further 4.4 million on further culturally appropriate housing. However, today, the Minister failed to echo that commitment. Although acknowledging that a commitment had been made, it would need ‘further consultation with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and the Elected Body’, before a decision could be made.

When further asked about culturally appropriate aged care facilities, for which there is also a growing demand, the Minister brushed off the question. Blaming the Commonwealth is a great game the current ACT government is good at playing. But they are not so good at taking responsibility for looking after the needs of our local populace.

Yes, the Federal government does regulate the provision of aged care facilities; however, they are not the only government responsible for providing those facilities. Many facilities are offered jointly by state and federal governments, including transition care, and multipurpose services. So we ask again, what is the ACT government doing to support the growing need for culturally appropriate aged care facilities in the ACT for our indigenous residents.