Home News and resources Submission in response to Aged Care Bill 2023 Exposure Draft

BCCM submission

The Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals (BCCM) welcomes the opportunity to make this submission to the Department of Health and Aged Care in response to the Exposure Draft of the Aged Care Bill 2023 (the Bill).

The BCCM is the national peak body representing the co-operative and mutual movement across all industries. The BCCM is currently delivering Australia’s first co-operative and mutual enterprise support program in social care, the $7 million Care Together Program, on behalf of the Australian Government.

The Bill is the cornerstone of the Australian Government’s response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety (the Royal Commission). It is a direct response to the first recommendation of the Royal Commission and seeks to provide the basis for a new person-centred aged care system that delivers safe and quality care.

The BCCM believes that the Bill’s objectives and principles and the new regulatory and governance processes for aged care providers generally represent a strong response to the Royal Commission recommendations and provide a basis for the change needed for a rights-based aged care system.

However, the Bill, like the current Aged Care Act, in its blanket approach to governance requirements, does not recognise the co-operative model and its member-based governance as a legitimate, person-centred, innovative and empowering option for care delivery.

Co-operatives have an important role in regional, rural and remote Australia, in empowering the care workforce and in developing innovative models of stakeholder voice and participation beyond the minimum requirements for consumer and worker consultation envisaged in the Bill.

The co-operative model aligns strongly with the Statement of Principles and overarching policy objectives that the Bill is seeking to achieve and it will be a missed opportunity if co-operatives are not appropriately recognised in the Bill.

Drawing on best practice in international regulation of social care sector co-operatives, the BCCM calls for an amendment of the Bill, supported by appropriate Rules, to appropriately recognise co-operative governance models.

Jurisdiction: Australian Government

Committee: Department of Health and Aged Care

Submission date: 8 March 2024


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