Media Releases

Media releases from the Office of Susan Templeman MP.

Enquiries from the media should be directed to the Media Adviser via the Electorate Office on (02) 4573 8222 or via email to [email protected]


August 21, 2020

Local residents with a family member in aged care have expressed their concerns about the sector to Federal Labor Leader Anthony Albanese during a forum hosted by Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman.


Mr Albanese visited the electorate on Thursday, August 20, attending a COVID safe roundtable event with Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury residents who shared their stories, both “good and not so good”, about their aged care experiences.


“We know, of course, that the problems in aged care didn’t begin with the pandemic,” Mr Albanese said.


“One of the locals today had a quote about how what a pandemic does is just like an x-ray; it shows things that are broken. Indeed, the aged care system is broken.”


A report given to the Federal Government four months ago warned of workforce issues during the pandemic in response to six deaths at Dorothy Henderson Lodge in Macquarie Park, he said. A report into Penrith’s Newmarch House – where 19 residents tragically died - has also been given to the Federal Government, but not released.


“It’s quite extraordinary that months after the Federal Government had received reports sounding the alarm bells, they still haven’t listened, and we know from the Royal Commission there is still no national plan for aged care,” Mr Albanese said.


“We know that the government continues to prevaricate, deny and defer responsibility for aged care.”


Ms Templeman thanked the residents who attended the forum, saying the government should be listening to those who had experienced the system in order to fix it.


“While grateful for the care that individual nurses and carers showed their relatives in their aged care home, many spoke about the need for higher standards, the need for transparency, and more nurses and carers in each facility,” Ms Templeman said.


Among the attendees at the forum was Blue Mountains resident Denise Newton, whose mother is in aged care. Ms Newton has called for a formal residents’ family advice group to be mandated for each facility, and wants to see greater oversight of the industry as well as funding transparency.


Ms Templeman supported those goals.


“The Federal Government is in charge of aged care. It regulates aged care. It funds aged care,” Ms Templeman said.


“The Morrison Government needs to listen to people like Denise, who have experience with this system. They need to listen to the carers, the relatives, and, where they are able, aged care residents themselves and start getting this right.


“There are things that can be done right now, the government doesn’t have to wait for the final report of the Royal Commission.


“I will continue to put the needs of Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains residents in aged care front and centre, and it’s about time this government did, too.”