Aged care in rural, regional and remote communities will be prioritised in a record-breaking new Aged Care Approval Round (ACAR) announced on Friday by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt AM.

Announcing the 2018 ACAR at the RSL Remembrance Village in Wagga Wagga, Minister McCormack and Minister Wyatt said the Turnbull Government would provide an additional 13,500 residential aged care places, and 775 short term restorative care places across the nation.

“This is the largest number of residential places to have been made available in a single ACAR and is an important part of our government’s $5 billion Budget boost for aged care,” said Minister Wyatt.

“While all applications are welcome and will be independently assessed on their merits, special consideration will be given to non-metropolitan areas through the application process.

“The ACAR will open on 2 July but we are announcing the upcoming round now to provide prospective applicants more time to prepare detailed proposals.”

A recent national consultation process invited a wide range of aged care stakeholders, including local shire councils and community organisations, to highlight residential aged care needs and how these could be addressed.

Minister McCormack said the new ACAR would build on the Turnbull Government’s strong record of support for regional, rural and remote Australians.

“We are passionate about ensuring all Australians have access to quality aged care services regardless of where they live but we know that regional, rural and remote communities often face challenges, compared with our cities,” said Minister McCormack. 

“In addition, $60 million for capital grants for aged care developments will also be made available as part of the 2018-19 ACAR.

“As the Minister for Infrastructure I’m pleased regional, rural and remote areas will be prioritised through these grants which encourage greater investment, more support and more employment in the areas of highest need.”  

The 2018-19 Federal Budget provided an unprecedented commitment to aged care. This includes funding increases from $18.6 billion in 2017-18 to $23.6 billion in 2021-22.

The ACAR application period is open for six weeks, from 2 July until 10 August .

Further information about ACAR funding is available on the Department of Health website

Ken Grimson