A federal body is to be vested with blanket powers to investigate allegations of abuse and inadequate care in nursing homes, with a move to implement remedial measures to halt the abuse of elderly people.
There is also an increase in the May budget for care of the aged with certain modifications in the financial support of nursing homes, to be able to care for the aged. Federal Minister for Ageing Senator Santoro said "For example (the scheme) has no investigatory powers. It's more about mediation and conciliation and I have always had difficulty accepting that. I just see difficulty in reconciling the attitude of, say, a rapist, with the attitude of the victim. I think there needs to be a different system that deals with the issue of rape and assault than one that focuses on reconciliation and mediation."
It was still unclear whether this would entail an installation of a new federal body or the whether the government envisages an ombudsman role to look into complaints administration and redressal activities. A rejuvenation of the complaints system with police checks and training in the care of the aged would form an integral part of the reform package.