Chesters Urges City of Greater Bendigo to Reconsider In-Home Aged Care Decision

23 November 2022

The City of Greater Bendigo’s decision to end their in-home aged care services on June 30, 2023 is deeply disappointing. 

Particularly, given the Federal Government's decision to extend existing funding arrangements until 30 June 2024.

My heart goes out to the workers who have found out they will lose their jobs and to the clients they support. 

Our council run in-home aged care services are a vital and much-loved service.

A model set by the market may not offer the same support to clients and we have seen this trend emerge with other councils that have gone down this path.

I am very concerned with what will happen to these older and more vulnerable community members.

The previous Liberal Government made the decision to change the funding model for these services. This decision is currently under review and current funding arrangements have been extend to 30 June 2024 (*see below for more details).

As part of the review process, last Friday I co-chaired a round table with 36 Victorian Local Governments to provide feedback to the Minister for Aged Care, Anika Wells, and the Federal Government. 

The City of Greater Bendigo was a notable absence. 

My understanding from meeting with the City of Greater Bendigo about this issue, is that the City currently contributes about $300,000 per year to help fund the current in-home aged care services. The Federal Government provides about $5.2 million annually.

I strongly urge the City of Greater Bendigo to rethink this decision and engage in the current review process. 



Commonwealth Home Support Programme 

  • Following the October 2022-23 Federal Budget, the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) has funding allocated for a further 12 months from 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024. This aligns with the Australian Government’s announcement of a return to a start date of 1 July 2024 for a new in-home aged care program.


  • The Department of Health and Aged Care (the department) recently engaged with Councils about the reforms and the future of in‑home care, reinforcing the messaging the Australian Government wants to retain a diverse and high-quality market for aged care services. Not-for-profit and government delivered services will continue to play an essential role in aged care into the future. Councils are being actively encouraged to continue participating in the aged care reform discussions to ensure their voice is heard.


  • The Australian Government is committed to delivering a reformed in-home aged care program by 1 July 2024, starting with listening to the people who will use and deliver the services.


  • On 18 October 2022 we published a discussion paper, Anew program for in-home aged care, and opened a submission process to hear feedback from stakeholders. Submissions close on 25 November 2022.


  • The final reform arrangements will be settled in early 2023 taking into consideration feedback from stakeholders on the proposal currently being consulted on.


  • Where a Council decides to cease providing aged care services, this is an internal business decision by the Council. The Australian Government cannot direct a Council or other provider to continue delivering aged care services.