Royal Commission to be established to look at Australia’s aged care sector – what might providers expect?

17 September 2018

In a joint statement with the Health Minister Greg Hunt and the Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the Government has made a decision to establish a Royal Commission into the Aged Care Sector.

The announcement recognised that there are ‘thousands of extraordinary operators, facilities, care providers, nursing and other clinical staff’ in the sector, noting that ‘the best teams will always want to do better’ and that those who cared about ‘aged care, which those who work in the sector do, you want it to be at its very best’.

The exact terms of reference will be defined following consultation with the aged care sector and the community, however the PM noted that they are expected to include:

  • The quality of care provided to older Australians, and the extent of substandard care;
  • The challenge of providing care to Australians with disabilities living in residential aged care, particularly younger people with disabilities;
  • The challenge of supporting the increasing number of Australians suffering dementia and addressing their care needs as they age;
  • The future challenges and opportunities for delivering aged care services in the context of changing demographics, including in remote, rural and regional Australia;
  • Any other matters that the Royal Commission considers necessary.

The Royal Commission into Aged Care is a once in a generation opportunity for the aged care sector to demonstrate the quality care, accommodation and services it provides. We need to ensure that a balanced approach is taken to demonstrate the ground breaking initiatives of the majority of excellent providers of aged care services, both residential and home care.  A Royal Commission is the highest form of inquiry in Australia. The sector needs strong legal leadership and advocacy as it prepares for a rigorous inquiry into its activities.

Please make contact with our Aged Care and Health Law Team for advice and assistance with the preparation of submissions to the Royal Commission.  Gadens has assisted clients with the Royal Commission into misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.


This update does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. It is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest and it is not intended to be comprehensive. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content.

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