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Aged care royal commissioners announced

A Supreme Court Justice and a former Public Service Commissioner have been chosen to lead Australia’s aged care royal commission

Australia must be ready for some “difficult stories” but Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the aged care royal commission will rebuild trust in the sector.

West Australian Supreme Court Justice Joseph McGrath and former Australian Public Service Commissioner Lynelle Briggs have been appointed as the royal commissioners.

They will release an interim report on October 31 next year, with a final report due on April 30, 2020.

“It is a very future-focused royal commission but it is going to learn from the mistakes and problems of the past,” Mr Morrison told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.

“I think the country is going to have to brace itself for some difficult stories.

“But that’s part of the process of this royal commission, to confront these stories honestly.”

Mr Morrison said he wanted to instil a national “culture of respect” towards elderly people.

“The royal commission will be the first step in re-establishing the trust that loved ones will be treated with dignity and with respect,” he said.

The inquiry will be based in Adelaide, where shocking abuse of residents in the state government-run Oakden nursing home was first uncovered.

It will also undertake hearings around the country, and will take evidence via video.

More than 5100 people contacted the government about the terms of reference, which were released on Tuesday.

The terms require the commissioners to look at how bad aged care has been, and how to provide care for disabled residents, including young people.

The royal commission will also look at dealing with dementia, people who want to live at home, and a sustainable funding model for care and facilities.

Mr Morrison said he expected the royal commission would be finished within the time limit.

“(But) if more time is needed and is requested, more time is always given,” he said.

Justice McGrath was appointed to the WA Supreme Court in November 2016, and before that he was WA Director of Public Prosecutions and a senior assistant director at the Commonwealth DPP.

Ms Briggs was CEO of Medicare Australia and served as the Australian Public Service Commissioner for five years.

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