“The budget announcement has been disappointing but not surprising for Australians in aged care and the preventative health of the nation,” Dietitians Australia CEO Robert Hunt said.

“Australians deserve investments in their quality of life and nutritious food is one of the fundamental pillars of this.

Aged care

“Dietitians are an underutilised health workforce. We have the capacity right now and we stand ready to help the government fundamentally address the real issues of food and nutrition in aged care. “The establishment of a $9.9 million Aged Care Complaints Commissioner is welcome. “It is critical residents and families have a reliable way to have their complaints recorded, however, we need to make sure they can be dealt with effectively and not repeated. “If every aged care home was required to engage an accredited practising dietitian, you would solve the malnutrition and food complaints.”

$5 million for Magie Beer Foundation

"While we welcome the investment that will provide great culinary education and training to aged care chefs and cooks to prepare tasty food, we still can’t be guaranteed the food will be nutritious. "The critical missing link in this is accredited practising dietitians. "We need both chefs and dietitians funded if we want to turn the tables on malnutrition in Aged Care. "We expect the government to make good on their election priorities in aged care in the May 2023 budget."

Food security and preventative health

“We were told we were getting a well-being budget however, we have not seen much in the areas of preventative health or the utilisation of the full range of health workers. “We hope to see far more considered funding into the actions of these strategies announced in May,” Mr Hunt said. “We would have liked to have seen funding for the National Nutrition Policy, including food security. “This is a critical issue for our nation, highlighted recently by the impacts of floods and natural disasters.

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Note to editors: Dietitians Australia is the leading voice of nutrition in Australia, representing dietitians nationally and advocating for healthier communities. Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) is the only national credential recognised by the Australian Government as the quality standard for nutrition and dietetics services in Australia.