ADF deployment in aged care to end

Release details

Release type

Related ministers and contacts

The Hon Richard Marles MP

Deputy Prime Minister

Minister for Defence

Media contact

Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, Richard Marles MP - 02 6277 7800 -

The Hon Anika Wells MP

Minister for Aged Care

Minister for Sport

Ministerial contact

Chris Garry - 0472 840 665

Defence Media

Release content

29 September 2022

Joint media release:

  • Minister for Aged Care, Minister for Sport, The Hon Annika Wells MP

Australian Defence Force (ADF) contributions to aged care facilities under Operation COVID-19 Assist, which has been providing support to aged care homes impacted by the pandemic, will come to an end on 30 September 2022.

Critical support to aged care homes from our ADF personnel has been ongoing throughout the pandemic, with reinforced efforts announced in February this year, at the height of the Omicron wave.

This was a key measure and intended to be temporary.

We understand the anxiety felt by many when it comes to COVID-19 outbreaks in aged care homes which is why the Australian Government has increased support available to aged care homes experiencing workforce shortages and continues to support the sector through infection prevention, control, and treatment.

Additionally, the government has significantly boosted the capacity of the clinical surge workforce to support providers impacted by the pandemic.

The deployment of ADF personnel was an important emergency response and was extended in August to ensure residential aged care homes had continuity of support throughout the winter period.

With the winter peak now behind us, and fewer outbreaks in homes, this is an appropriate time to conclude ADF support in aged care.

Vaccination rates for aged care residents are high, with more than 80 per cent of eligible residents having received a fourth dose.

Aged care workers remain among the most vaccinated in the country, and providers have become more experienced in managing outbreaks.

Once again, ADF men and women stepped up to help the broader community during a time of crisis.


Quotes attributable to the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Richard Marles MP:

“The ADF has gone above and beyond the call of duty, and we as a nation are grateful for their service at such a crucial time for older Australians.

“The ADF is well trained and qualified to provide extra support to our country when needed, however, it is now time for ADF resources to be directed into other areas of priority.

“We all know when there is a crisis, whether it be through COVID-19, floods or fires, the ADF steps up without question.”


Quotes attributable to the Minister for Aged Care, the Hon. Anika Wells MP:

“We have left no stone unturned tackling the pandemic and supporting the aged care sector throughout this winter.

“The work the Australian Government has done with the sector has put us in a far stronger position.

“We have boosted the availability of a trained aged care surge workforce, driven up vaccination rates, provided protective measures such as RAT kits and PPE, and lifted the supply and use of antivirals for aged care residents.

“I thank the ADF personnel who stepped up to lend a helping hand to homes when they needed it most.

“This has been and continues to be an incredibly difficult time for older Australians, their families and carers, and for the workers and providers of aged care.”

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