Fighting for aged care workers
Ms WELLS (Lilley) (13:36): Through Omicron, aged care has just experienced its worst crisis in living memory. How is it even imaginable that the federal budget on Tuesday night did not address this, that this federal budget on Tuesday night did not respond to our aged-care crisis? There are aged-care workers and home-care workers in this building today, begging us to do something to fix this national crisis.
Teresa is a home-care worker. She explained that the big setpiece item on Tuesday, the 22 cent discount off the fuel excise, would not touch the sides of the scale of the problem, which is that she cannot afford to do the job that she loves. It won't even touch the sides. She cannot afford to fill her tank to drive to work, let alone drive her clients around.
It is an absolute disgrace that you are failing to fix this. They are begging you to fix this, and you are squandering the seven hours left that you have in power by doing nothing. There's nothing in this budget to fix home care, there's nothing in this budget to put more nurses into nursing homes, there's nothing in this budget to give more carers more time to care, there's nothing in this budget to lift aged-care wages, and there's nothing to improve the transparency and accountability about what money is going in and where it's going and what it's doing. Older Australians, their carers and aged-care workers deserve so much more than you.