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Media Release by Senator the Hon Mark Arbib

International Honour for Aged Care Provider Welcomed by Government

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Mark Butler MP, Minister for Mental Health and Ageing and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Mental Health Reform

The Australian Government welcomes the United Nations’ Habitat Scroll of Honour award for the care of Victoria’s vulnerable elderly people to Wintringham — a major Australian care service for older homeless people.

Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler and Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness Mark Arbib welcomed the unanimous decision by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme to award Wintringham its highest honour for World Habitat Day. It is a great first for Australian aged care.

Mr Butler congratulated the CEO of Wintringham, Bryan Lipmann AM, for his vision and commitment to caring for elderly Australians and to end homelessness.

“Providing care and support that meets the needs of older Australians who are homeless or at risk of homelessness is a core element of a fair and just aged care system,” Mr Butler said.

“The Government is proud to be working with Bryan and Wintringham as we continue to provide care and support for vulnerable elderly Australians.”

The Government will provide more than $54.2 billion for aged care over the next four years. This includes $7.7 million to extend the viability supplement to include special needs groups – older people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless and/or Indigenous Australians.

“These facilities face unique pressures and supporting their viability ensures older homeless Australians have access to appropriate services,” Mr Butler said.

Senator Arbib said the Government was taking action to better support the increasing older population in need of housing or financial assistance.

“As the population ages, more and more elderly Australians may be exposed to housing stress, including those who have retired on a fixed income who then face increasing housing and rental costs,” Senator Arbib said.

“It is a significant concern that there is an increasing trend towards homelessness, particularly among over-65-year-olds.”

Australian Government support in response to this trend includes providing at least one capital grant each year for four years to support aged care homes that provide services for older homeless people.

Senator Arbib said currently three of the grants had been allocated, enabling providers to construct an additional 176 places that support homeless older people.

“The Government is pleased to have been a partner in Wintringham’s outstanding work to support these people – work which has set an international benchmark for excellence in care,” Senator Arbib said.