New commissioner for aged care inquiry


Former Federal Court Judge Richard Tracey has been appointed to the aged care royal commission, after one of the commissioners pulled out for personal family reasons.

Mr Tracey, who retired from the bench after 12 years in August, will replace former WA Supreme Court Justice Joseph McGrath. Mr Tracey is also a former president of the Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal and Judge Advocate General for the Australian Defence Force.

He will take on the position immediately, joining fellow Commissioner Lynelle Briggs.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said this week the appointment would have no impact on the timeframe for the royal commission.

The commissioners will release an interim report into the aged care sector on October 31 next year, with a final report due on April 30, 2020.

The inquiry will be based in Adelaide, where shocking abuse of residents in the state government-run Oakden nursing home was first uncovered.

Public hearings are expected to start in February in Adelaide, with others to follow around the country and via video.

All Commonwealth-approved aged care providers have been requested to make early submissions to the commission detailing all instances of poor care and complaints since 2013, due by 7 January for the largest 100 providers and by 8 February for the remaining organisations.

The commissioners will look at the extent of below-par aged care and how to improve services for disabled residents, including young people. They will also look at dementia, home care, and a sustainable funding model for care and facilities.


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