Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA Jul-Aug 2013 Contents AS LASA PLANNED for 2013 we
knew we would be busy, with the
task ahead somewhat daunting.
The reform process was amongst
us, major legislative change
loomed, and key decisions
payments and the workforce
compact were still unknown.
Our industry was madly treading
water just to stay afloat.
LASA contemplated a multi-
faceted approach combining
advocacy in Canberra with local
engagement, including members
in electorates supported by an
industry and public education
campaign. Some thought it was
too much, others couldn't see the
link. But after much discussion,
a strategic approach was
developed and agreed upon.
I am proud to say that
approach is taking shape and has
yielded our organisation some
wins internally and externally.
While LASA supports much of
the reform process we saw the
passing of the Living Longer Living
Better legislative package as a
major opportunity for the industry;
something we are not likely to see
for another decade.
Some stakeholders had the
view that once the legislation
passed they would discuss an
aged services election campaign.
LASA believed that two
campaigns were needed and that
our members deserved advocacy
and support at every level.
Much of the work that takes
place in Canberra does not
filter through to our members.
Sometimes there are very good
reasons why it remains behind
closed doors. Unlike other
industries we do not have the
resources to hold up the political
agenda until we receive the
business decisions without a
considerable amount of detail.
Whilst there was much we agreed
with in principle, we could not
support the unfettered passage of
legislation that lacked key detail
and could have a significant
impact on the operation of our
A precedent was set when
the Senate Standing Committee
on Community Affairs examined
the legislation surrounding the
National Disability Insurance
Scheme. In that case many of
the operational rules had not
The Committee determined:
"...as a matter of good public
policy, when a bill seeking to
institute significant national
reforms is going to rely on
extensive subordinate legislation,
a draft of that ancillary material
should be released as close
as possible to the introduction
of the bill itself, to enable both
Parliament and the public to fully
consider the issue before it."
Both LASA's original and
supplementary submission was
formed around this principle.
LASA provided précis legislation
for consideration and the
approach has been well received
by parliamentary members.
At the same time, the profile
raising and public education
campaign 3 Million Reasons
was emerging. This campaign
was developed to showcase our
workforce and to give a voice to
the people that provide care and
services to older Australians 24
hours a day, seven days a week.
The campaign was officially
launched by LASA Chair Peter
Cosgrove on 22 May. LASA is
very pleased with the number
of member organisations and
politicians who have supported the
campaign. It is simple. We must
be the change we wish to create.
As a unified voice harnessing
the power of our workforce and
family support base we can
amass considerable numbers.
This is also the key in an election
year to achieving appropriate
funding and support to meet
As an organisation we have
worked seamlessly to create and
develop the 3 Million Reasons
Campaign. State CEOs have
done a brilliant job in visiting
federal politicians in their
electorates, often with LASA
members, and also in promoting
The aged care bills
have passed the House of
Representatives and are now
being scrutinised in the Senate.
LASA is continuing to work with
key politicians to ensure that
as much detail as possible is
available to members and key
amendments submitted by LASA
Once Parliament rises at the
end of June we can start the next
phase, an election campaign. By
then, aged services will be firmly
on the agenda, which is where it
needs to be. n
Follow Patrick Reid on
Industry view LASA
No stone unturned
While much of what happens in Canberra remains behind closed
doors, LASA will continue to work with politicians to ensure as much
detail as possible is available to members and key amendments to
reform legislation are considered, writes Patrick Reid.
Patrick Reid, CEO, Leading Aged
Services Australia (LASA)
we wish to
outcome we desire. We cannot
run a campaign like the mining
industry yet aged services is one
of the fastest growing sectors.
As the revised legislation was
tabled in parliament, much of
the detail would be contained in
subordinate legislation, known
as principles. The aged care bills
were known as superstructure or
'coat hanger' legislation relying
on considerable detail in order to
operate. However, the principle
documents were not yet drafted.
LASA's position was clear;
our members could not make
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