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Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, has asked how many of the 10,000 extra home care packages foreshadowed today will go to Tasmania, where nearly 1,800 people are languishing on the waiting list.

Mr Wilkie said Australians deserved their choice of retirement, but were missing out due to a chronic lack of funding.

“The majority of older Australians will tell you they want to see out their retirements in their own homes,” he said. “But demand continues to outstrip supply. According to the Government’s own data, there are 1,776 Tasmanians on the waiting list for packages including 933 in the State’s south. The sad reality is some of these people will die or be forced into residential aged care before they receive the support they need to stay at home.”

The Productivity Commission, which investigated this issue in 2015, recommended policy changes to help older people stay on at home as it was not only what most people wanted but also considerably cheaper than residential care.

“Nobody wins when people are forced into expensive residential care because of a lack of home support,” Mr Wilkie said.

“Those choosing to live at home must be given every reasonable assistance and support for both them and their carers.”