UnitingCare Australia thanks the Department of Social Services (the Department) for its indication that Exposure Drafts of the Principles necessary to implement the reformed aged care legislation will be published in the coming months, and appreciates this opportunity to provide brief comments on the five Principles released to date.
UnitingCare Australia has not identified any major concern with any of the Draft Principles released. While legal expertise is outside the purview of our organisation’s core business, UnitingCare Australia cannot find any instance of a failure of the Draft Principles to comply with the Act. Rather, the minor comments and queries below relate to how UnitingCare Australia service providers anticipate the Principles will work in practice.
In March 2014, UnitingCare Australia together with Catholic Health Australia (CHA) wrote to the Australian Government identifying a range of areas where unnecessary regulation could be reduced in order to achieve greater efficiency in the aged care sector. Some such areas were identified in the current subordinate legislation to the Aged Care Act 1997 (the Act). However, the suggestions forwarded by UnitingCare Australia and CHA do not appear to be reflected in the Draft Principles released to date. While cognisant that there may have been insufficient time for regulators to consider UnitingCare Australia and CHA’s correspondence before the Exposure Draft Principles were due for release, UnitingCare Australia hopes that such matters will be considered as soon as practicable and that any regulation found to be unnecessary will be repealed or streamlined at the earliest opportunity.