SPEAKING OUT: Bundaberg's Darryl Hampson, Cheryl Dorron and Bev Pignet protest nursing cuts in aged care last year.
SPEAKING OUT: Bundaberg's Darryl Hampson, Cheryl Dorron and Bev Pignet protest nursing cuts in aged care last year. Crystal Jones

Government sets date for aged care royal commission

MEMBERS of the Bundaberg community have marched in the streets, signed petitions and cried tears as they've recounted horrors of abuse and understaffing in the aged care industry.

Now a date has been set for answers.

The terms of an upcoming royal commission, first mooted by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on September 16, stipulate that a final report and recommendations must be submitted to the Governor-General no later than April 30, 2020.

An interim report is required by October 31, 2019.

In a joint statement released today, Mr Morrison, Health Minister Greg Hunt and Senior Australians and Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt announced that Justice Joseph McGrath and Lynelle Briggs would head the royal commission.

Justice McGrath was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Western Australia in November 2016.

Prior to his appointment he was Western Australia's director of public prosecutions and a senior assistant director at the Commonwealth DPP.

Ms Briggs was chief executive of Medicare Australia and served as the Australian Public Service Commissioner for five years.

She also leads the government's review of the Online Safety Act, is a non-executive director of Maritime Super and Goodstart Early Learning, a member of the Aid Governance Board for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and is chairwoman of the General Insurance Code Governance Committee.

The statement said the royal commission would be based on building a culture of respect for ageing Australians.

"Following more than 5000 submissions, four national roundtables and consultation with the medical and aged care professions, our government has today also outlined the terms of reference for the royal commission," the statement read.

"The commissioners will be directed to inquire into all forms of Commonwealth-funded aged care services, wherever they are delivered, without in any way limiting the royal commission's scope."

The federal politicians said as the royal commission was undertaken, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, work on upgraded aged care quality standards, and record levels of funding support for older Australians would all continue.

The Royal Commission will be based in Adelaide.


The royal commission will include the following categories:

  • Quality and safety including the extent of sub-standard care.
  • How to best deliver services to people with disabilities in aged care facilities, including younger people.
  • How to best deliver care toAustralians living dementia.
  • The future challenges and opportunities for delivering accessible, affordable and high quality aged care services, including people's desire to remain at home as they age, and care in rural, regional and remote Australia.
  • What the government, the aged care sector, families and the community can do to strengthen care services.
  • How to allow people greater choice, control and independence and improve engagement with families and carers.
  • How to best deliver sustainable aged care services through innovative care and investment in the aged care workforce and infrastructure.
  • Any matters that the commissioners believe is relevant to their inquiry.