The election of the Albanese Federal Government is a win for the aged care sector and represents a significant milestone for our national campaign to fix the crisis and finally implement essential recommendations of the Aged Care Royal Commission.

During the election, the QNMU and our national body the ANMF successfully secured four critical commitments from now Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his Federal Labor Party, including:

  • A Registered Nurse in every nursing home 24 hours a day
  • A mandated minimum 215 minutes of care per resident per day
  • Funding real wage increases for aged care workers
  • Ensuring funding accountability for providers

Aged care workers have waited too long for a government that wants to genuinely reform the sector, and we now have a real opportunity to make sure that happens. 

Thank you to everyone who has been involved in our aged care campaign over the past many years. 

Without your advocacy and activism, aged care would not have become the national issue that it is today, nor would so many people have voted to fix the sector.

Rest assured, our campaign for aged care does not end here. The QNMU will now ensure the new government works in collaboration and consultation with nurses and midwives to deliver on these commitments.

What's the issue in aged care? 

Hard-pressed nurses and care staff are doing their best in often impossible circumstances, but there are simply not enough of them to provide the quality care they know they can.
That’s because there are currently no laws dictating how many nurses and support staff are required to provide safe care.

Australia has strict staff ratios for childcare. But there are no ratios for aged care.
In the last five years, Australia’s estimated 900 private aged care providers have received more than $60 billion federal taxpayer dollars. They do not have to publicly report how any of the funds are spent.
Many providers are putting profits above quality care. This is why we need safe staffing and financial reporting to be made LAW in aged care.

How do we fix it? 

The QNMU, together with our federal body the ANMF, has four key reforms which must be addressed by the Federal Government to achieve the necessary changes in aged care.

  1. Registered Nurse in every nursing home 24 hours a day
  2. A mandated minimum 215 minutes of care per resident per day
  3. Funding real wage increases for aged care workers
  4. Ensuring funding accountability for providers

We have now secured commitments from the Federal Government to implement these asks.

What did the Royal Commission say?

After more than two years of hearings and evidence, the Royal Commission released its final report to the public on 1 March 2021. The report, titled Care, Dignity and Respect, makes 148 recommendations and calls for fundamental reform of the aged care system.
These wide-ranging recommendations include:

  • A new Aged Care Act that puts older people first, enshrining their rights and providing a universal entitlement for high quality and safe care based on assessed need.
  • An Inspector-General of Aged Care to identify and investigate systemic issues and to publish reports of its findings.
  • A plan to deliver, measure and report on high quality aged care, including independent standard-setting, a general duty on aged care providers to ensure quality and safe care, and a comprehensive approach to quality measurement, reporting and star ratings.
  • Professionalising the aged care workforce through changes to education, training, wages, labour conditions and career progression.
  • Registration of personal care workers as well as a minimum staff time standard for residential aged care.
  • A minimum quality and safety standard for staff time in residential aged care, including an appropriate skills mix and daily minimum staff time for registered nurses, enrolled nurses and personal care workers for each resident, and at least one registered nurse on site at all times.
  • Strengthened provider governance arrangements to ensure independence, accountability and transparency.
  • Funding to meet the actual cost of high quality care and an independent Pricing Authority to determine the costs of delivering it.

Read a summary of the final report and full list of recommendations. 

Latest updates

  • QNMU win! Aged care reforms pass parliament, more on the way
    Published: 16 August 2022

    The Federal Government has legislated important reforms to the aged care sector – the first bill to pass into law by the new Albanese Government.
    Read more

  • QNMU welcomes Albanese Government support for national aged care wage rise
    Published: 09 August 2022

    The Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union (QNMU) welcomes the Albanese Government’s submission for an aged care pay rise that properly recognises this extremely valuable workforce.
    Read more

  • Our case to lift aged care Award wages by 25%
    Published: 28 April 2022

    Our case for a 25% increase to minimum (Award) wages for aged care nursing staff reached a crucial milestone this week, as union members and officials presented evidence before the Fair Work Commission.
    Read more

  • Labor promises critical aged care reforms
    Published: 01 April 2022

    In last night’s federal budget reply speech, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese announced key aged care reforms, which the Labor Party would implement if elected.
    Read more

  • Scott Morrison is choosing to ignore aged care
    Published: 29 March 2022

    Today, Prime Minister Scott Morrison is delivering his final budget before the federal election. On key issues, Mr Morrison has been missing in action.
    Read more

Who pledged to support aged care ratios?

In the lead-up to the 2022 federal election, QNMU members sought aged care commitments from all federal politicians.
See if your local federal member pledged to support ratios in aged care!  

See who's pledged

Spread the word! 

Please print and distribute the below resources to your friends, family and colleagues:
It's Not Too Much To Ask posters
Ratios for Aged Care campaign flyer  
Importance of Carers in aged care flyer
Aged care medication management flyer
Aged care 10 questions brochure