Senior Australians and communities in country areas across the nation will benefit from significant upgrades to local residential aged care homes, thanks to $40 million in grants from the Liberal National Government.
The funding will enable extensions, refurbishments and improvements at 117 homes, under the Aged Care Regional, Rural and Remote Infrastructure Grants scheme.
Successful local organisations will receive the funding early in the New Year, following an open and competitive funding round which closed in October 2018.
As part of our Government’s $5 billion aged care funding boost, announced in the 2018-19 Budget, this aged care infrastructure funding is dedicated to improving the quality and accessibility of aged care services in regional, rural and remote Australia.
It will provide individual services with grants of up to $500,000 to support better and more extensive services and ensure senior Australians living outside our large cities can receive quality care as close as possible to home.
Local projects funded include kitchen, bathroom and bedroom renovations and extensions, new activity and barbecue areas, clinic construction, staff accommodation upgrades and expansions, new solar power systems, and security and fire protection improvements.
I have been impressed by the significant interest from regional aged care providers and their dedication to supporting senior Australians in the bush.
Our Government shares this strong commitment to regional, rural and remote Australia and we understand that local aged care services face challenges their capital city counterparts do not.
These include higher operating costs, difficulties attracting and retaining professional staff and financial challenges associated with sparse populations and geographical isolation.
The $40 million grant funding will boost the productivity and sustainability of local aged care services, which play a critical role in community cohesion.
These aged care homes not only provide vital services, they help maintain the economic and social viability of regional centres.
The sector will receive a further boost of $60 million via the residential aged care capital grants through the Aged Care Approvals Round (ACAR) expected to be announced by April 2019.
This combined investment will see a total of $100 million to support small infrastructure upgrades and major capital investment, in areas where it is most needed.
Thanks to our strong economic record, our Government has also just announced $101.9 million to lift the annual Viability Supplement paid to eligible regional aged care providers by 30 per cent.
I thank all the organisations that submitted applications and look forward to seeing the benefits of this funding for our aged care services, senior Australians and communities in country Australia.
Media contact: Nick Way, Media Adviser 0419 835 449
Authorised by Ken Wyatt AM, MP, Member for Hasluck.