Territory Stories

Sunday Territorian 7 Mar 2021



Sunday Territorian 7 Mar 2021


Sunday Territorian; NewspaperNT






Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.

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News Corp Australia

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Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

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News Corp Australia



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06 NEWS SUNDAY MARCH 7 2021 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 AGED CARE STAFF INSIST ON PAY RISE AGED care workers too poor to repair their cars or pay medical bills are demanding a wage rise in the wake of a damning royal commission report into substandard aged care. The United Workers Union wants aged care staff with a Certificate III qualification many of whom earn barely more than the minimum wage of $20 an hour to be granted a $4 an hour wage rise to $28.87 an hour. The award rates of pay for many aged care workers are half the average Australians rate of pay, the unions aged care director, Carolyn Smith, said. Aged care workers tasked with the vital job of giving quality care to older Australians often dont earn enough to make ends meet. They go without car repairs, clothing and surgery. The royal commission revealed that one in three elderly Australians receive substandard care in nursing homes. It warned that Australias aged care system was understaffed and the workforce underpaid and undertrained. Bill from gammon Gladys a joke: Chief Govt uses debt collectors as only 60% of hotel isolation costs paid The data revealed a similar situation for the government in clawing back payment for quarantine at the Howard Springs and Alice Springs facility, which were stood up in June 17 amid the shift to hot spot declarations instead of sweeping border restrictions. A total of 8738 people have undertaken mandatory supervised quarantine at Howard Springs and Alice Springs. Of the 5253 invoices issued, 3316 have been paid in full, amassing the government about $8.6m a fraction of what the multi-agency quarantine response has cost. Only four invoices so far have been sent to debt collectors after people failed to pay the bill within 90 days. The running of the domestic wing of Howard Springs involves NT Health, Territory Families, NT Police, and the Infrastructure Department. The operational cost to NT Health alone in November 2020, according to information provided during budget estimates, was $681,037. At the international wing of the Howard Springs quarantine facility, the federal health department has so far received full or partial payment for 40 per cent of invoices issued to repatriated Australians as of February 18, which is the most recent data available. This comes amid a new agreement between federal and NT governments to more than double the capacity of the international wing of Howard Springs from 850 people per fortnight to 2000 by the end of May. But in a move that has been slammed by the Opposition, the NT government will sideline the highly skilled AUSMAT team and take control of the facility. MADURA MCCORMACK Running the domestic wing of Howard Springs involves NT Health, Territory Families, NT Police, and the Infrastructure Department. Picture: Che Chorley THE NT government has sent in debt collectors to claw back hundreds of thousands of dollars from hotel quarantine bill dodgers. Only 60 per cent of hotel quarantine bills have been paid nearly nine months after the NT closed its hotel quarantine system in place of the domestic wing of the Howard Springs facility, according to data obtained by the Sunday Territorian. A total of 2316 people were put into hotel quarantine in the NT during the front end of the pandemic from March to June 2020. But only 649, or 60 per cent of invoices issued, have been paid in full which equates to about $1.7m. An NT Health spokeswoman confirmed the government has since called in debt collectors for 135 overdue bills. SATURDAY 13 MARCH 2021

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