Government announces decision to retain ownership of Australian Hearing

The Consortium welcomes the decision by Government to retain ownership of Australian Hearing

Last night, as part of the 2017 Budget, Government announced that they have "decided to retain full ownership and control" of Australian Hearing.

Three years ago, in the 2014 Budget, Government indicated that it would scope the potential privatisation of various Government bodies, including Australian Hearing. As a response, a Consortium partnership comprising non-profit service provider, Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC), Macquarie University and Cochlear Limited, was formed.

The intention of these three leading Australian organisations, was to offer an alternative ownership model that would preserve and protect the world-class services that are currently available to Australians with hearing loss, particularly vulnerable clients under the Government's Hearing Services Program.

The Consortium welcomes the decision by Government to retain ownership of this important world-leading service and seeks clarification on how Australian Hearing's services will continue to be delivered within a fully contestable NDIS environment.

RIDBC Chief Executive, Chris Rehn, explained that "the highest priority of our organisations is the wellbeing of all Australians with hearing loss.

"We are particularly focused on the continuation of services for vulnerable clients presently covered under Australian Hearing's Community Service Obligation (CSO) program.

 "It is imperative that Australia maintains its leading role in the field of hearing health, and continues to provide a high standard of accessible services for people with hearing loss.

“Additionally, maintaining and building Australia’s global leadership role in technical and service innovation, ground breaking research, professional education and innovation in the hearing health field, is key. 

"Under a fully contestable NDIS environment the Consortium partners remain focused on ensuring current hearing services are maintained and enhanced, for the benefit of all Australians," said Mr Rehn.