Aged sector gets initial $452m after probe

The federal government has announced an initial $452 million to bolster the aged care sector.
The federal government has announced an initial $452 million to bolster the aged care sector.

The federal government has announced an initial $452 million to bolster the aged care sector in light of a royal commission's findings.

The royal commission has made 148 recommendations to the Morrison government, including new laws to protect the rights of elderly people and increased regulator powers.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the values, rights and needs of older Australians need to be at the centre of aged care.

He said the findings provided the government with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to overhaul the system.

"It will test my government, the budget and test the parliament," he told reporters in Sydney on Monday.

"It will test the way in which we are prepared to deal with this issue."

Health Minister Greg Hunt said $18 million would go towards tougher oversight of the government's home care packages, which allow older Australians to continue living at home with extra support.

Some $32 million will go to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission and more regulation on the use of restraints in care.

Nearly $190 million will go to residential care providers and $90 million to create a fund to help facilities facing financial challenges.

Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck said the royal commission had made him question how the system works in Australia.

"We need to look at a fundamental reform of the system," he said.

The final report has been released on Monday after two years of the inquiry hearing harrowing tales of neglect across Australia.

In November, the government promised $537 million towards fixing problems in aged care, weeks after the royal commission's damning interim report.

Australian Associated Press