Council considers ending care services


Sarah Oliver

Moorabool council is considering ceasing its aged care and disability services, impacting 38 council staff who work in aged care.

Council said it had given in-principle support to end the services as a result federal government aged care and disability services reforms which were announced in May in the wake of a Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

The reforms change the way aged care and disability services are delivered across the country and mean councils will receive less money to fund aged care and disability services.

Moorabool mayor Tom Sullivan said council management have been in communication with staff whose jobs are affected by the decision.

“Management have been communicating with these staff members to keep them up to date with what is happening, the process and their options,” Cr Sullivan said.

“Should council confirm its in-principle decision to cease services, we will continue to work with staff to look at redeployment before redundancy, and we’re very confident that with a skills shortage across aged care, our very high-quality staff will have the opportunity to work in aged care in another setting if they so desire.”

The council has also notified clients and families who use the services of its plans.

Cr Sullivan said it had become clear through the aged care reforms of the past 10 years that local government does not have a role to play in the future of aged services.

“The in-principle decision has been made in the interests of our aged clients, our staff in this area and the broader community, so that if required, we can manage the transition to an appropriate provider who will deliver the same level of quality services in accordance with the federal government’s new directions,” Cr Sullivan said.

In a closed meeting on Wednesday night, council endorsed a range of recommendations, including the acceptance that due to inherent costs, competition policy and other structural changes, Moorabool will not be able to play a meaningful role in the future of services.

Council’s chief executive Derek Madden said: “This doesn’t mean council are diverting funds away from aged care.

“We want to make sure clients are as supported as they need to be.”

A report will come back to council in March, 2022, for consideration and confirmation of the in-principle decision, as well as potential transition timelines.