Committee to hear from the Department of Health and Aged Care

THE House of Representatives Standing Committee on Regional Development, Infrastructure and Transport will hear from the Department of Health and Aged Care as part of its inquiry into local government sustainability today, July 4.

Committee Chair, Luke Gosling OAM, MP, said, "Local governments play a vital role in providing a range of public health services across their communities. The hearing will provide an opportunity for the committee to hear about the roles of the Australian, state and territory, and local governments in managing our health system, with a particular focus on the financial support provided to local governments that are delivering essential health services.

"Increasing rates of chronic disease, an ageing population, and greater reliance on mental health services are key health system challenges across Australia. Our local governments are facing increasing demands to ensure community access to primary care, aged care, and mental health services, amidst challenges attracting and retaining a skilled health workforce in regional, rural, and remote areas," Mr Gosling said.

"Many local governments report increased responsibility and financial pressure arising from changing funding models and reforms by higher levels of government, particularly in the aged care sector. Service gaps around essential mental health services in regional, rural and remote areas are a growing concern, with many councils providing financial support to ensure community access to these vital services.

"The committee is keen to hear from the Australian Government about the health funding, program and regulatory framework in the context of local government health service delivery," Mr Gosling said.

The hearing also provides an opportunity to gather evidence concerning current and future health workforce skills, attraction, and retention challenges and the Australian Government’s role in securing access to a local government health workforce.

Public hearing details

Canberra, Australian Parliament House

Date:      Thursday, 4 July 2024

Venue:   Committee Room 1R3

Time:     11.05am to 12pm (AEST)

The committee will hold further public hearings during 2024. Further information on the inquiry, including the terms of reference and how to contribute, is available on the committee’s website.



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