Australia: National Strategy for the Care and Support Economy

Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has launched his plan to fix the country’s aged care, disability, veterans and early childhood services.

Earlier this week, Albanese released the draft National Strategy for the Care and Support Economy, vowing to deliver high quality care and support for every Australian.

Albanese said he wanted input from the public on how the system can be improved.

“The care and support workforce is integral to the Australian economy, particularly as demand for aged care and early education services is on the rise,” he said in a media release.

“To do this, we need to hear from those directly impacted by it.”

The draft strategy said that low pay, limited opportunities for progression, unsafe conditions and high workloads were driving high staff turnover across the care economy.

It said the forecast increase in costs would place a major strain on the federal budget.

The number of Australians aged 65 and over is projected to increase more than 50 percent from 4.3 million in 2021 to 6.6 million by 2041.

In May, the government announced spending 11.3 billion Australian dollars (7.3 billion U.S. dollars) to fund pay rises for aged care workers in a bid to improve staff retention and quality. ■

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