The Australian Government has today affirmed its commitment to better aged care for the Torres Strait.
The Assistant Minister for Social Services, Mitch Fifield, and the Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch, today announced the Torres Strait community would be invited to have their say on future directions of aged care in their community, including current building issues and future residential needs within the Star of the Sea Aged Care Service.
The Government has approved the development of a Torres Strait Aged Care Masterplan, which will be produced in consultation with the state and local governments, the Torres Strait Regional Authority and the local community.
The Masterplan will be the key output of the Torres Strait Aged Care Services Strategic Review, which will present within six months options for consideration by Minister Fifield.
A Steering Committee chaired by the Queensland State Manager of the Department of Social Services has been established, which will oversee a competitive tender process for the Masterplan work.
Once the tender is completed, submissions will be invited and consultation with stakeholders will begin.
“The Government has approved the development of this Masterplan to find a solution that best suits the needs of older residents in the Torres Strait community,” Senator Fifield said.
“The Australian Government already invests $4.6 million in aged care in the Torres Strait to ensure residents have access to care as they get older.
“This is a further demonstration of this Government’s commitment to meeting the aged care needs of Torres Strait communities.”
Mr Entsch praised BlueCare staff for their ongoing commitment to providing excellent care to Star of the Sea residents.
“Work totalling $1.2 million is already underway to address the most urgent maintenance issues at Star of the Sea. It is now time to consult further with the community, service providers, and community leaders to explore alternatives and longer-term solutions.
“As part of the Masterplan, we will consider all options for Star of the Sea, including whether to redevelop the existing site or relocate to a more suitable site.
“This will give older people and their families in the Torres Strait the peace of mind that they will have access to high quality aged care within the community.”