This federal election, nurses and midwives have called on all political parties to put health and aged care front and centre. We know our health and aged care systems are in crisis. And they have been, long before the pandemic. 
 
We need a federal government that gets this, and is prepared to do something about it.

Where do the parties stand on nurses and midwives’ asks this election?


Guarantee real change for aged care

Our asks: 

  • Legislate ratios – mandated minimum care minutes and the right skills mix, including 44 minutes with a Registered Nurse.
  • Introduce an RN 24/7 with at least one Registered Nurse on site at all times.
  • Ensure greater transparency by ensuring funding is tied to care.
  • Improve wages and conditions by supporting and funding our claim for a 25% increase to aged care award wages.

Individual MPs and candidates have been pledging their support for our aged care campaign. See the full list here. (Note: While some individual candidates have agreed to support our aged care asks, these commitments do not bind their party.)


Labor’s response
Labor’s plan to fix aged care includes:

  • Putting nurses back into nursing homes 24/7 – Labor will lift care and quality standards and improve health outcomes by legislating to require one registered nurse onsite 24 hours a day in residential aged care facilities from July 2023.
  • Legislating minimum care time for each resident at 215 minutes per day, including 44 minutes with a registered nurse. This improved care-time standard will commence in October 2024. Labor will maintain the planned mandatory 200 care minutes date of October 2023.
  • Backing and funding a real pay rise for aged care workers by supporting and funding the unions’ claim for a 25% increase to aged care minimum wages through the Work Value Case currently before the Fair Work Commission.
  • Requiring aged care providers, through legislation, to ensure funding is dedicated to care and clinical support in aged care. Through mandatory care time reporting, providers will be required to publicly report on care provided and type of staff member. In addition, all aged care providers must provide a breakdown of their expenditure as part of the Aged Care Financial Report to show how much is spent on care, nursing, food, maintenance, cleaning an administration as well as profits.

The LNP
No response

The Greens’ response

  • The Greens will introduce staff-to-patient ratios and increase hours of care to 4 hours and 18 minutes of care per resident per day.
  • The Greens will introduce a minimum of one RN rostered on 24/7 in all residential aged care facilities.
  • The Greens will fight to improve governance, transparency and accountability in the aged care sector, starting with mandatory public reporting on how providers are spending Government funds. We will ensure the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner acts as an independent, strong regulator that resolves complaints in a timely manner.
  • The Greens support the call for 25% wage increase and improved conditions, and will provide $6 billion per year to fund this and other measures.

One Nation
No response

Katter’s Australian Party 
No response

Palmer’s United Australia Party
No response

Reduce pressure on Emergency Departments and hospitals

Our asks:

  • Introduce nurse-led walk-in centres or Medicare nurse led clinics across Queensland to provide Queenslanders with a new model of primary care, and alleviate the increasing unprecedented demands on our acute care settings 
  • Expand Queensland’s Nurse Navigator roles to help patients navigate the complex health system to ensure timely access to care and support. 
  • Undertake urgent workforce planning to ensure there are enough nurses and midwives available to meet increasing demand on our health and aged care systems and implement now models of care and initiatives. 

Labor’s response
An Albanese Labor Government will fund community-based Medicare Urgent Care Clinics in at least 50 locations across Australia. These multi-disciplinary* Medicare Urgent Care Clinics will take the pressure off hospital emergency departments by providing an alternative option for communities needing urgent care from a doctor, nurse or allied health professional. They will treat sprains and broken bones, stitches and glue for cuts, wound care, insect bites, minor ear and eye problems and minor burns.

Care will be bulk billed, meaning families won’t be out-of-pocket for having a loved one attended to, just like if they’d gone to a public hospital.

In government, Labor will explore new models of care to ensure healthcare is meeting the needs of all Australians, regardless of where they live. If you understand the crucial role of nurses and midwives in the healthcare system, it is clear that these models of care will undoubtedly rely heavily on nurses and midwives.

Labor will also establish a new National Nurse and Midwife Health Service modelled on the successful Nursing and Midwifery Health Program in Victoria to provide nurses and midwives with a range of personalised and professional support services to help them manage burnout and stress.

*NOTE: It is yet to be determined how many of these clinics will be nurse-led.

 

The LNP
No response

The Greens’ response

The Australian Greens will invest an extra $8 billion into our public hospitals by legislating for equal (50/50) funding growth of hospitals between the Commonwealth and States, ensuring faster access and more services.

The Greens support expanding Queensland’s Nurse Navigator roles.

The Australian Greens will also wipe all existing student debt and provide free university and TAFE to allow more people to gain the necessary training and accreditation to work in health and aged care.


One Nation
No response

Katter’s Australian Party 
No response

Palmer’s United Australia Party
No response

Expand Medicare

Our asks:

  • Expand Medicare reimbursement for some nursing and midwifery services that are currently only available to some regional, rural and remote health areas. We know Australians have difficulty accessing primary health services no matter where they live, whether that be long wait lists, GPs, or acute outpatient/emergency services. Allowing health services across Australia to be reimbursed for service costs [exemption 19(2)] will mean we have more nurses and midwives where we need them and care will be delivered closer to home.
  • Implement the Nurse Practitioner reference group report recommendations as part of the MBS Taskforce.

Labor’s response
Labor maintains that Nurse Practitioners should have access to the MBS and PBS. We will focus in particular on enabling Nurse Practitioners to expand the delivery of great health care across a range of different settings in Australia. This will be sustained by better workforce planning with supported career pathways especially in regional, rural and remote locations. An Albanese Labor Government will work closely with the ANMF and QNMU and all relevant stakeholders to deliver these opportunities.


The LNP
No response

The Greens’ response

The Australian Greens want to invest more in public healthcare, allowing people in metro and outer-metro, rural and regional areas to receive the same level of healthcare support.
We also support the extension of telehealth for nursing and midwifery services.

The Australian Greens broadly support the recommendations [of the Nurse Practitioner reference group report] and will continue to consult with stakeholders regarding appropriate implementation of each recommendation.


One Nation
No response

Katter’s Australian Party 
No response

Palmer’s United Australia Party
No response

Fix job security

Our ask:

  • Commit to concrete policy changes that deliver more permanent jobs and fair and reasonable wages and conditions, in particular for women.

Labor’s response
Labor has a plan for a better future that draws on our country’s values: Creating opportunity. Rewarding hard work. Holding no-one back. Leaving no-one behind.

Labor is the only political party committed to:

  • Enshrining gender pay equity as an objective of the Fair Work Act, strengthening the ability and capacity of the Fair Work Commission to order pay increases for workers in low paid, female dominated industries.
  • Putting in place a statutory Equal Remuneration Principle to help guide the way the Commission considers equal remuneration and work value cases.
  • Setting up two new Expert Panels in the Fair Work Commission – one for Pay Equity and one for the Care and Community Sector – so that the Commission has the expertise and knowledge of the sector that they need to deal with emerging workforce challenges in crucial care sectors and improve conditions for Australia’s fastest growing workforce. The two new panels will operate in the same way as the Annual Wage Review Expert Panel and will be backed by a dedicated research unit.

Labor’s plan for a better future for all Australians can be found here


The LNP
No response

The Greens’ response

To address the undervaluation of care work, the Greens will implement annual wage increases of CPI + 0.5% for ten years in female-dominated industries, including nursing. 

The Greens will also rewrite our labour laws to

  • Prevent insecure work and establish a legislated presumption in favour of ongoing employment;
  • Require all reasonable requests for flexible working arrangements to be considered 
  • Ensure workers have the right to strike and more bargaining power;
  • Increase the minimum wage across all sectors to at least 60% of the full-time adult median wage;
  • Make achieving gender pay equity an explicit objective for the Fair Work Commission when considering wage cases.
  • Give casual and contract workers access to the same protections and entitlements as permanent employees.

The Greens will also improve the rights of women at work by:

  • Expanding paid parental leave to up to 6 months, and encouraging more equitable sharing of care between parents;
  • Introducing universal free child care;
  • Paying super on parental leave;
  • Boosting superannuation for low-income earners with caring responsibilities.

One Nation
No response

Katter’s Australian Party 
No response

Palmer’s United Australia Party
No response

Build a healthier, fairer and more equal society

Our asks:

  • Implement the Uluru Statement from the Heart  to address systemic racism and discrimination in our health care system by giving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people a legitimate voice in our Federal Parliament. We must enable First Nations people to lead the conversation and help Australia meet our health equity targets.
  • Take real action on climate change  by implementing future-ready policies, legislation and practices that genuinely and pro-actively address the climate crisis and its negative health impacts on Australia, the region and the world.
  • Fix the housing affordability crisis  to ensure nurses and midwives and their families can purchase their own home or find affordable rent in areas close to work and family.

Labor’s response
Labor has a plan for a better future that draws on our country’s values: Creating opportunity. Rewarding hard work. Holding no-one back. Leaving no-one behind.

Labor is the only political party committed to:

  • implementing the Uluru Statement in full.
  • implementing a plan that will reduce Australia’s emissions by 43% by 2030. 
  • fixing the housing crisis by establishing a National Housing Supply and Affordability Council and developing and implementing Labor’s National Housing and Homelessness Plan.

Labor’s plan for a better future for all Australians can be found here


The LNP
No response

The Greens’ response

On fully implementing the Uluru Statement of the Heart:

The Greens were the first party to back the Uluru Statement and we continue to stand for truth, treaty, voice. As the first step, we want a national Truth and Justice Commission, like the one that has been established in Victoria. 

The Greens have a strong First Nations Network, which has emphasised the value of proceeding in the order of truth telling, treaty, and voice to ensure that change is lasting and meaningful. We may only get one chance at a referendum to enshrine a Voice to Parliament in the constitution, and we want to maximise the potential for success. 

On climate change:

The Greens have a comprehensive plan to phase out coal and gas, reduce emissions by 75% by 2030 and 100% by 2035. This plan will create a jobs and investment boom in new industries, expanded mineral mining and 100% renewable energy. Our plan also makes sure coal workers are supported throughout the transition, and invests in regional communities to develop new local industries.

On housing affordability:

The Greens will:

  • build one million social and affordable homes across cities, towns, regions and remote areas over 20 years. This will increase housing accessibility, reduce insecure housing and poverty, and place downward pressure on rents and house prices.  
  • We will also phase out negative gearing perks that have made it easier for people to buy investment properties than homes.
  • The Greens will also make renting fairer, with national standards for accessibility, capping rent increases, longer leases, ending ‘no grounds’ evictions, ensuring appropriate tenancy protections for victim-survivors of domestic violence, and allowing tenants to have pets and make minor changes to their rental so that it feels like a home 
 

One Nation
No response

Katter’s Australian Party 
No response

Palmer’s United Australia Party
No response


Election updates

  • New Federal Government a win for aged care
    23 May 2022

    Labor's election win 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. Read more

  • Will you take a stand this federal election?
    05 May 2022

    Will you add your name to our petition and tell political parties to support health and aged care this election? Read more

  • Nurses and midwives ask politicians to put health first this Labour Day
    02 May 2022

    Queensland nurses and midwives are today calling on all political parties and voters to put health and aged care first at the upcoming federal election. Read more

  • Federal election: What have the major parties committed so far?
    28 April 2022

    When it comes to health and aged care, here is what the two major parties are presenting to Australians this election. Read more

  • Our case to lift aged care Award wages by 25%
    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

Will you take a stand this election? 

 
We need to keep the pressure on all political parties, as it's every politician's responsibility to prioritise health and aged care this election. 
 
Will you add your name to our petition and tell political parties to support health and aged care this election? 
 
Yes I'll sign! 

Why should I care about this federal election?

 
We need a Federal Government that has a real plan to fix the health crisis.

As the largest union in Queensland, and a member of the largest union in Australia, QNMU members can make a difference this election.

1 in 87 Queenslanders is a QNMU member. That’s why each and every vote counts.

Participating in Australia’s political process is how we secure many of our wins. We know what we care about. We need to make sure the political parties do too.