A public consultation on the foundations of the new Aged Care Act is now underway.
Information on ways you can provide feedback, including a consultation paper, fact sheets, diagrams, frequently asked questions and a survey, are available on the Department of Health and Aged Care’s Aged Care Engagement Hub.
Feedback received will inform the drafting of the new Act.
The consultation will close on Friday 8 September 2023.
Why is a new Aged Care Act needed?
The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety recommended that a completely new Aged Care Act be developed because the current Aged Care Act 1997 is no longer fit for purpose.
The Department of Health and Aged Care (the department) is now developing a new Aged Care Act which will place older people at the centre of the aged care system and provide the framework for fundamental change within the aged care sector.
Drafting of the new Act is being undertaken at the same time as related reforms across the sector. This includes the development of strengthened Aged Care Quality Standards and a new model for regulating aged care.
When will the new Act commence?
Subject to being passed in Parliament, the new Act is planned to commence on 1 July 2024.
It will replace existing legislation, including the current Aged Care Act and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018.
Has the new Act been finalised?
The new Act is still being developed.
The department has been engaging with key stakeholders on components of the new Act, and it is now seeking feedback on the foundations of the new Act. This public consultation will close on 8 September 2023.
The current consultation will further inform the drafting of the new Act.
The department then expects to release an Exposure Draft of the Bill for the new Act for public consultation later in 2023.
What are the key differences between the new Act and the existing Act?
The Royal Commission found that the current Aged Care Act is structured around providers and how to fund them – not about the people accessing services and what they need.
The new Act will, where possible, follow the journey of older people within the system, prioritising their individual needs over the funding of providers. It will clearly set out the obligations of aged care providers and legislate requirements that protect the rights of older people in Australia to safe, quality care.
The new Act will:
- place older Australians at the heart of the aged care system
- outline the rights of older Australians who are seeking to access, or are accessing, funded aged care services
- provide a single system entry point with clear eligibility requirements to simplify access to the system
- incorporate a fair, culturally safe single assessment framework
- establish new system oversight and accountability arrangements
- introduce a new risk-based regulatory model designed to increase provider accountability and encourage the delivery of high-quality and safe aged care services
- strengthen the enforcement powers of the Commission.
More information is available on the department’s website: