Almost 200 aged care beds have already closed as Denis Napthine moves towards the full privatisation of aged care facilities across Victoria, Member for Tarneit, Tim Pallas said today.

 Departmental figures show there have been four closures of public aged care facilities, resulting in 179 fewer beds in the system than when the Coalition took office in 2010.

 “Despite an ageing population, Mr Napthine has allowed the public aged care sector to shrink, and has plans for the full privatisation of aged care facilities across the state,” Mr Pallas said.

 “Since the Coalition took office in 2010, they have made a series of cuts to the aged care budget, resulting in a steady decline in aged care beds.

 “Already Victoria has seen facilities close in Ballarat, Koroit, Melbourne and Williamstown, with another in Kyneton due to close by June 30.

 “Despite the closure of the Koroit Nursing Home in his own electorate, Denis Napthine’s Government has foreshadowed moves for the full privatisation of aged care facilities in the most recent budget update.

 “The privatisation has already begun, with Rosebud Residential Aged Care Services quietly sold off late last year.”

 Mr Pallas said the move towards privatisation would limit choice for families in the Wyndham area

 “Mr Napthine’s plans to privatise aged care will limit choice for seniors, and may particularly affect the residents at Werribee’s South Stone Lodge Residential Facility. This could lead to people paying more or having to move to another area,” Said Mr Pallas.

 “The comparison couldn’t be clearer: under Labor, more than 40 aged care facilities across Victoria were redeveloped and the system was expanded to meet the rising demand.

 “Now the public sector is struggling under the weight of the Napthine Government’s budget cuts.

 “Mr Napthine mustn’t allow the care of seniors to be sold off to highest bidder.”