The conversations of life

Will we be getting rid of the cap on aged care beds? Not any time soon, Government says


The aged care sector wants the Government to deregulate residential aged care places – opening up competition.

In April they released its Aged Care Roadmap, which advises allowing anyone to build new aged care homes. We need these new beds. Currently the Government releases new bed licences each year.

Under the Roadmap, this system would end within five years, with the supply of places uncapped within seven years.

Government rules out deregulation

Assistant Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt
Assistant Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt

However Assistant Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt has announced this will not go ahead until there is “a secure model for rural and regional Australia.”

“I want to protect country towns and rural populations, otherwise if we deregulate completely [we are]likely [to]see country towns die,” he told the Australian Association of Gerontology national conference in Canberra.

In 2015-16, 10,940 aged care places valued at $678.3 million were allocated. It sounds like a lot, but consider this: a report by accountancy firm RSM found this actually fell short by about 28,000 places.

In 2014, Aged & Community Services (ACSA) stated Australia will need 82,000 new aged care beds by 2020 – or 2.25 new 100-bed residential aged care facilities opened each and every week over the next seven years.

Clearly this is not happening.

That’s a lot of elderly people who will be without the care and support they need.

Lauren is a journalist for, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

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