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SEVEN MONTHS after Aged and
Community Services Australia
(ACSA) announced it would
pursue a merger with Aged Care
Association Australia (ACAA),
the ACSA board overturned
the decision, citing insufficient
support among members.
In mid-February, ACSA
national president, Rob Hankins,
said consultation with member
states had indicated there
was insufficient support for the
merger, "which in itself would
have been a complex process".
According to Mr Hankins,
the board had reaffirmed its
commitment to focus on "a once
in a lifetime aged care reform
opportunity" and the need to
"actively influence" reform of the
Mr Hankins said that despite
the board's decision not to
progress with the merger,
widespread support across the
sector for wholesale reforms
remained essential during this
critical period. ACSA would
therefore maintain its close
working relationship with ACAA,
through the National Aged Care
Alliance and the Aged Care
Industry Council, and continue to
advocate for reform.
Chief executive officer of ACAA,
Rod Young, said he was obviously
disappointed with the decision.
"We had held a position for
five years that supported moving
toward merger status with
ACSA," he said.
"So when ACSA started
making the decision to have
those discussions, in our mind, it
was the correct course to take.
"Considerable effort has
gone into this process. We have
moved diligently to reach an
agreement of minds about what
the organisation would look like
and were developing a draft
constitution, so obviously
Mr Young said it seemed
likely the two organisations would
continue with different CEOs for
at least the next three years.
While ACSA's board may
believe it has successfully
scuppered all hopes of a merger
between the two peak aged care
associations, not everyone is
taking it lying down.
CEO of Aged and Community
Care Victoria (ACCV), Gerard
Mansour, has put his intentions
"We will keep pushing for it,"
said Mr Mansour.
"The ACSA board has made
a decision and we respect their
right to make this decision. Now
we will make our own decisions
about where to from here.
"The board of ACCV is
passionate and united in the
view that we need a national
organisation that speaks on behalf
of all providers. That's the position
we need, to get the best outcome
for industry and we don't resile
from that position. Our members
are equally strong, if not stronger
in their resolve and we will want to
find the best way forward."
However, Mr Mansour said
now was a time for unity of voice
across the entire industry, not the
time to be focusing on differences.
"The PC reforms will dominate
everyone's thinking in the short-
term so we will take a step back
and consider what the next step is
in the journey... But we don't see
[this decision] as a closed door."
A COMPLEX HISTORY
The issue of a merger between
the two organisations has a long
history, marked by strong views
on both sides but the stakes
in the debate were raised in
October 2010 when a report by
management consultants, The
Nous Group, commissioned
by ACSA (and leaked to AAA),
recommended that ACSA
investigate a merger with
ACAA. The report found that, on
balance, the positives of a merger
outweighed the negatives.
A second report on
the subject, Is the sum
ACAA CEO, Rod Young, at the launch of the National Aged Care Alliance
Blueprint for Aged Care Reform in Canberra, shortly before the merger
decision was announced.
October 2010 - A report by the Nous Group, commissioned by
ACSA, recommends ACSA investigate a merger with ACAA, saying
the negatives outweigh the positives
May 2011 - PwC report released
July 2011 - ACSA announces decision to seek merger
September 2011 - ACAA board gives formal agreement
October 2011 - ACSA announces merger will not be on agenda
for November board meeting
AAA apologises for accidentally
reversing the photographs of
Alan Graham and Paul Carberry
on page 23 of AAA's January
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