July 13, 2023

The recent announcement that the Petrie Gardens aged care facility at Tiaro will close on 1 August 2023 has come as a shock to the Fraser Coast community.

The 10 bed low care facility at Tiaro has been in operation since 1995 and was recently hailed as one of only two aged care homes in Australia to be awarded a perfect score for the quality of the food provided to residents.

Churches of Christ have advised that the closure of Petrie Gardens is due to the Albanese Labor Government’s ill-conceived commitment to have at least one Registered Nurse on site and on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at all aged care residential facilities.

Speaking about the imminent closure of Petrie Gardens, Federal Member for Wide Bay, Llew O’Brien said, “this is what happens when the heavy hand of Government comes in with excessive regulation without ensuring there’s a workforce available to ensure compliance. So even with an offer of some support from Government, it’s of no help when there’s no RN’s available to fill the positions.”

Senator Anne Ruston, Shadow Minister for Aged Care said, “residents in communities like Petrie Gardens deserve the right to age in their community. However, expedited requirements from this Labor Government are tragically seeing older Australians forced to leave their communities and aged care homes forced to close as they cannot fulfill legal obligations imposed on them.”

“It is shocking that the Minister for Aged Care has not provided any support to providers like Churches of Christ in Tiaro who are doing their best to provide high quality care for older Australians.”

Internal Health Department findings from 2022 demonstrate that the Labor Government’s aged care reforms would exacerbate current workforce shortages and create a shortfall of almost 40,000 nurses and care workers by 2024-25.

“What’s worse is the government’s changes to the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold from $53,900 to $70,000, which makes it more difficult for employers to take on overseas trained staff by making their wages unaffordable, at a time when the Government is increasing overseas migration to Australia by 1.5 million people,” Mr O’Brien said.

“It is important that older Australians get the care they need, but the Labor Government has pushed forward blindly with these reforms, ignoring the repercussions on rural and regional areas already feeling the impact of the aged care workforce shortage.”


In the spirit of Australia, I acknowledge all citizens who contribute to making our nation the greatest on earth.

I acknowledge our defence force personnel, past, present, and emerging, for their service to our nation, and particularly those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of Australia.

I also acknowledge the Australian taxpayers who, through their hard work, pay for the infrastructure, health, education, and emergency services that keep our proud nation healthy, safe, and prosperous.