Keeping the spotlight on aged care

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Members are encouraged to organise community stalls, have a presence outside the Productivity Commission’s hearings, and talk to their local MPs.

The NSWNA is ramping up the next stage of the Because we care campaign, which will take place between now and March, with the aim of keeping aged care on the Government’s agenda.

There are three strategies planned – and we need your help to ensure their success.

Community stalls to collect signatures

The Association is aiming to collect 20,000 signatures on a petition to the Productivity Commission, which is undertaking a review of aged care in Australia.

The petition asks people to support the ANF’s submission to the Commission, in particular its recommendations regarding the introduction of minimum staffing levels, wages increases, accountability of funding and licensing for all care staff.

The petition was started online on the Because we care website prior to the election. People can still sign online at www.becausewecare.org.au, but will also have the option of signing a paper version. Members are encouraged to get involved with holding community stalls in shopping precincts or events in their local area. The NSWNA can help with organising stalls and will supply petitions and materials to set up your stall.

‘These stalls organised by members are a fantastic way of engaging the public with aged care issues. Having petitions at the stalls will allow people to take action and do something practical to help aged care nurses and improve the aged care system,’ said NSWNA Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda. ‘I strongly encourage members to consider setting up stalls in their local communities.’

Lobby outside the Productivity Commission’s premises

The Productivity Commission is expected to release its preliminary ‘Caring for Older Australians’ report in January, after which it will hold a series of roundtable consultations before submitting the final report to the Minister in June 2011.

The NSWNA is calling on members to be available to stand outside the Commission’s premises during these roundtable discussions.

‘We are hoping to get 50 to 100 nurses at each event to stand outside the building reminding people not to forget nurses during the discussions,’ said Judith.

Contact your MP

The ANF and NSWNA will be visiting MPs who have taken on a new seat or role to make sure they are aware of the Because we care campaign and to encourage them to support it.

Members are urged to contact their new local member if they have one, by sending a letter or making an appointment to visit the MP.

‘We now need to lobby the new Federal Government,’ said Judith Kiejda. ‘The Government made aged care a second-term election commitment; now we need to keep active so they follow through on that promise. It’s important for members to do their part to keep aged care on the agenda.’