WA Labor policy to free up government buildings and land for nursing homes

WA Labor announces policy to free up government buildings and land for nursing homes

The Opposition says the plan will fast-track new facilities by converting existing government buildings and land into nursing homes if it wins next year’s election in March. 

The Opposition leader Mark McGowan (pictured) has also vowed to reduce red tape for developers, saying they were being put off by the regulations under local government planning schemes.

Opposition leader Mr McGowan said there were 3,500 unused bed licences in WA while nearly 150 elderly people were waiting in hospital for an aged care bed.

“The average wait for an elderly person in hospital to be transferred to an aged care bed is 68 days,” he said. “At a cost of approximately $1910 per day, this is hardly the best use of taxpayers’ money.”

Shadow Seniors and Ageing Minister Margaret Quirk said it was the sensible and compassionate option.

“I have spoken to numerous people who have experienced the frustrating, time-consuming and gut wrenching process involved in securing a place for a loved one in an aged care facility,” she said.

Acting Health Minister Mike Nahan has criticised the plan however, saying the Government was already working to supply more beds to relieve the pressure on the hospital system.

“The government’s continuous red tape reduction campaign has expedited a range of planning approvals and actively targets bottlenecks, including local government processes,” he said.

ACSA WA’s CEO Trevor Lovelle affirmed that the number of unused bed licences was estimated at 3,644 in June 2015.

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A special thanks to our contributors

Jill Donaldson


Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.