South West residents urged to share stories and perspectives on aged care system in Bunbury consultation forum

Headshot of Sean Van Der Wielen
Sean Van Der WielenSouth Western Times
Residents in Bunbury and surrounding areas are being urged to have their say on the future of the aged care system.
Camera IconResidents in Bunbury and surrounding areas are being urged to have their say on the future of the aged care system. Credit: Don Lindsay/The West Australian

South West residents are being asked to share their stories and perspectives with the aged care system in an effort to shape the Federal Government’s new Aged Care Act.

The Council on the Ageing Australia and the Older Persons Advocacy Network will be holding a consultation forum at Bunbury’s Dolphin Discovery Centre on Friday, with the feedback received to be used to strengthen and improve laws governing the sector.

COTA chief executive Patricia Sparrow said the forum was for those who had direct experience of the system, have family members in care or simply want to have a say in the future of aged care.

“We want to hear what the residents of Bunbury and the surrounding areas really think about our aged care system and what can and should be done to make sure it’s delivering the quality service we all deserve,” she said.

The forums are taking place as the result of Federal Government releasing a consultation paper on the new Aged Care Act, which was a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

Craig Gear, CEO The Older Persons Advocacy Network
Camera IconOlder Persons Advocacy Network chief executive Craig Gear. Credit: Unknown/Unknown

“The current version, which is more than 25 years old, is focused on the operation and funding of aged care services,” he said.

“It is largely divorced from the human experience of older people.

“If we are serious about a rights-based Act that puts older people, and the services they need, front and centre, then it stands to reason that older people must also be front and centre of the discussion.”

The Bunbury session is one of 12 that are taking place around the country, with Ms Sparrow noting the importance of those from regional areas having their say on the issue.

“We need to improve our aged care systems for everyone and to do that we need to make sure the voices of those at the centre of the issue are heard,” she said.

“That’s why these consultations are so important.”

The forum will start at 9am and run until 4pm.

For more information or to register, visit opan.org.au/cota-opan-consultations. Those needing assistance with registering can call 1800 001 321.

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