I am angry because I have spoken to the families of aged care residents who have had enough. Richard Colbeck must resign today. If Richard Colbeck does not resign today the prime minister should sack him.
He is simply incapable of fulfilling the task of looking after the interests of old, vulnerable Australians. What we have is a circumstance whereby these Australians have helped to build this country. They deserve dignity and they deserve respect. Not the … contempt that we get from a minister who, having avoided appearing before a committee inquiry all year up until yesterday, went before that inquiry and said that it was working exceptionally well.
He went before the inquiry and said that there was not a crisis in aged care and today, what we have, what we have, remarkably, is an announcement that they are going to have a taskforce, they are going to ask a few people in the department to look at the data. They are not going to act. That is what they are going to do.
Well, here are some data. 566 deaths since 1 January. Double the number of deaths that occurred throughout 2021 in aged care. 15,000 residents and 17,000 aged care workers being infected with Covid. One-quarter of shifts not being filled. 80,000 aged care residents who have not received booster shots. Aged care residents who are missing out on showering, who are missing out on food and water, who are not having their wounds tended to. This is a crisis and it is a crisis on this government’s watch in the wake of a Royal Commission that described the aged care sector in one word, neglect.