Challenges in aged care
In the past week I was able to visit aged care facilities in Broken Hill, Gilgandra and Coonamble to discuss the challenges facing aged care in these towns. One of the major challenges for regional aged care facilities remains the ability to source the required staff, which can become very expensive if paying for out-of-town agency help.
The ideal scenario is that local people fill staffing positions to look after our aging population, as they are already part of the community. It’s my view that if this is not able to occur, migrant workers can also be outstanding contributors to this field, as they are often keen to become part of communities, place high value on care for the elderly, and possess an excellent work ethic.
Our policy settings need to ensure that if skilled migration is part of filling these workforce shortages that they are targeted and that regional areas are not overlooked. I’m aware that the Labor Government has opened the migration gates, however I maintain that this needs to be done strategically, with our current infrastructure and workforce needs in mind.
It’s been great in 2023 to begin to visit more schools again as well as meeting with them when I can in Parliament on their excursions to Canberra.
School end of year presentations are all happening at this end of the year and I’ve enjoyed getting around to schools in Dubbo, Wee Waa, Warialda, Lake Cargelligo and Broken Hill in recent weeks to attend ceremonies and present awards.
My congratulations to all the hard-working students who are receiving awards for their efforts over the past year as well as the teachers and parents who support our young people to reach their potential.
A Merry Christmas
You should shortly receive in your mailbox my Christmas card, which includes a tear-off calendar with some helpful phone numbers for your fridge. Photographs from talented constituents of locations around the Parkes electorate feature both on the Christmas card and a limited number of full-sized A4 calendars which will be available from my offices. My staff will also be happy to mail these on request for as long as they are available, although please keep in mind that we will be closed for a short period over Christmas.
My staff, Robyn and I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and look forward to connecting again in the New Year.