Since the Morrison government came to office, there are 3,000 fewer people studying to become aged and disability carers. The knock-on effect is not enough workers on the floor of our aged-care or disability-care centres and fewer people to attend in their homes.
I'm going to read to you a letter I received from a woman in my electorate named Josephine. Josephine is 86 years old and a resident at RSL LifeCare in Merimbula. She said:
'The carers here are wonderful people dedicated to their work. However, I am aware the Morrison government hasn't raised the carers' wages since the royal commission into aged care, as promised. I'm writing to protest the status quo. I was a trained nurse at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney and my husband was a heart transplant surgeon. I know how concerned he would be at this present situation. I hope other people are as concerned about this as I am. Carers and nurses are valuable members of our community and the least valued.'
Josephine is right. Aged-care workers are invaluable. Aged-care workers have been at the front line of this pandemic, looking after our loved ones, who are some of the most vulnerable. But the Prime Minister doesn't value aged-care workers, because, if he did, they would still be some of the worst paid workers in this country.
This should have been a recommendation moved on quickly by this government. I'm not surprised that there are less than half the enrolments in TAFE to study health and welfare and aged and disability caring today than there were in 2013. This is what happens when a government doesn't value their industry.