Meg Pickup, Ballina
Mungo’s expose on aged care in Australia and the PM’s politically expedient decision to pre-empt 4 Corners’ exposure of another major scandal by calling, with indecent haste, a royal commission on Sunday September 16, the night before the first episode was aired, was enlightening (The Echo 26 September).
The PM’s announcement was more than a thought bubble but, as Mungo states, with little apparent consideration given to the terms of reference, finding staff for the commission and alerting coalition members.
However, hastily developed terms of reference and an invitation for people to provide feedback were published on the Commonwealth Department of Health’s Consultation Hub on September 17 with a closing date for feedback of Tuesday, September 25, a seven working day timeframe.
An open letter from Minister Wyatt about the royal commission inviting feedback from aged-care workers was not released by the Commonwealth Department of Health until 12.32pm on Friday, September 21.
Both the limited timeframe and the minister’s late notification letter highlight that the royal commission is purely a marketing exercise in damage control and is just another cynical exercise by a government unfit to govern.