Victoria records 70 cases; NSW records 13 cases; restrictions to be loosened on NSW-Victoria border; Australian death toll hits 657

Victoria records 70 cases; NSW records 13 cases; restrictions to be loosened on NSW-Victoria border; Australian death toll hits 657

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“Until Senator Colbeck delivers on the recommendations of the royal commission, the one word that will always come to mind at the sound of his name will be neglect,” Senator Wong said.

“The Royal Commission has warned Senator Colbeck that it will take an additional $621 million per year to improve the aged care system … He says he’ll wait and see what the final report says.”

Referring to the federal government’s $563.4 million COVID-19 aged care funding extension, Senator Wong said: “Announcements don’t save lives. It’s delivery that matters. It’s follow up that matters.”

Labor’s deputy leader in the Senate, Kristina Keneally, took aim at Senator Colbeck over his handling of a press conference announcing the funding in Canberra on Monday, saying: “Senator Colbeck is not the minister for aged care; he is the minister for walking away.”

The minister had left the press conference while some journalists were still calling out questions – behaviour that, while not unusual, has become a central theme of Labor’s attacks.

The government’s leader in the Senate, Mathias Cormann, hit back, saying the minister “has worked flat out … to ensure that aged care residents across Australia are safe.”

“Listening to the Labor Party, you’d think there is no pandemic happening anywhere … you’d think all of this is happening in isolation of any context,” Senator Cormann said.

“The reason we have a particular aged care problem in Victoria is because we have a COVID problem in Victoria.”