Appointment of Royal Commissioners and Terms of Reference

Media release
09 Oct 2018
Prime Minister, Minister for Health, Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care

Our Government has recommended that the Governor General appoint the Honourable Justice Joseph McGrath and Lynelle Briggs AO as Royal Commissioners into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

Justice McGrath and Ms Briggs bring strong investigative skills and extensive experience in corporate and public sector governance to the Royal Commission.

Our Government wants to ensure Australians have access to the level of care and support each person would expect for themselves.

A key task of the Royal Commission will be to help build a national culture of respect for ageing and older Australians.

Justice McGrath was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of Western Australia in November 2016. Prior to his appointment he was WA Director of Public Prosecutions and a Senior Assistant Director at the Commonwealth DPP.

Ms Briggs was CEO of Medicare Australia and served as the Australian Public Service Commissioner for five years. Ms Briggs is leading the Government’s review of the Online Safety Act, is a non-executive director of Maritime Super and Goodstart Early Learning, a member of the Aid Governance Board for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and is chair of the General Insurance Code Governance Committee.

Following more than 5,000 submissions, four national roundtables and consultation with the medical and aged care professions, our Government has today also outlined the terms of reference for the Royal Commission.

The Commissioners will be directed to inquire into all forms of Commonwealth-funded aged care services, wherever they are delivered, without in any way limiting the Royal Commission’s scope.

The Royal Commission’s Terms of Reference include:

  • Quality and safety including the extent of substandard care.
  • How to best deliver care services to people with disabilities residing in aged care facilities including younger people.
  • How to best deliver care to the increasing number of Australians living with dementia.
  • The future challenges and opportunities for delivering accessible, affordable and high quality aged care services, including people’s desire to remain living at home as they age, and aged care in rural, regional and remote Australia.
  • What the Government, the aged care sector, Australian families and the wider community can do to strengthen care services to ensure quality and safety.
  • How to allow people greater choice, control and independence and how to improve engagement with families and carers.
  • How to best deliver sustainable aged care services through innovative care and investment in the aged care workforce and infrastructure.
  • Any matters that the Commissioners believe is relevant to their inquiry.

The vast majority of Australia’s aged care services and their dedicated staff deliver outstanding care but our responsibility is to ensure there are no exceptions.

As the Royal Commission goes about its critical work, our rigorous policing and reform program will continue at full pace with the new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, upgraded Aged Care Quality Standards and record levels of funding support for older Australians.

There will be absolutely no compromise on the safety and quality of aged care.

The Royal Commission will be based in Adelaide and it is proposed it will provide an interim report by 31 October 2019 and its final report by 30 April 2020.

The terms of reference are available on the Attorney-General's website.