'Shameless' One Nation blocks financial transparency of aged care providers
Pauline Hanson and the Government have blocked a game-changing amendment that would have forced aged care providers to reveal how much they actually spend on food, staff, and other costs of delivering care.
Centre Alliance Senator Stirling Griff moved an amendment to the Aged Care Legislation Amendment (New Commissioner Functions) Bill 2019 that would have required residential aged care providers to give annual financial statements to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner, who would then make them public.
The amendment had the support of Labor and Jackie Lambie but was blocked (vote 34:34) when One Nation sided with the Government to oppose it.
The amendment would have required providers to disclose their income, their spend on food and medication, the amount spent on staff and staff training, accommodation, administration, and how much they pay out to their parent bodies. This would have enabled stakeholders to have a clear view – for the first time - on the proportion of income that providers actually spend on costs of care and how much is just being pocketed or wasted.
"One Nation is shameless. It claims to stand up for ordinary people but apparently this doesn't extend to vulnerable elderly in residential aged care who are suffering neglect and abuse," Senator Griff says.
"This was a simple amendment that did a simple but very crucial thing. It was a potential game changer.
"Providers might object to the administrative 'burden' of having to provide annual financial statements but, frankly, that is a paltry concern when weighed against the vast public benefits this transparency would have finally provided."