Legislation - Aged Care Reform

Primary Legislation

On 28 June 2013, five Bills outlining the key legislative changes to underpin the first two phases of the aged care reforms passed into law. From 1 July 2014 the Acts are:

Aged Care Related Acts:

Subordinate Legislation

A number of Principles made under the Aged Care Act 1997 have been amended or created and commenced on 1 July 2014. The Aged Care (Transitional provisions) Principles 2014 were created under the Aged Care (Transitional Provisions) Act 1997.

The current Aged Care Principles are:

The current Principles are also available on the Australian Government’s ComLaw website. Explanatory Statements have been released with each final instrument and can also be found on the ComLaw website. The Explanatory Statements explain each component of the Principles.

Other subordinate legislation includes:

Aged Care Determinations – Ministerial

Other Aged Care related legislative Instruments

The Guide to Aged Care Law

In conjunction with the recent changes to the Aged Care Act 1997 (the Act) and its subordinate legislation, the Department of Social Services (the Department) has identified an opportunity to enhance the way it presents information to aged care stakeholders.

The Guide to Aged Care Law (the Guide) has now been released.

The Department in consultation with aged care stakeholders developed the Guide as an online resource. It is designed to be an easy to use, plain-English text that will help assist approved providers understand their responsibilities and obligations under the Act.

The Guide provides the Department with a platform to provide the latest information to aged care stakeholders relating to updates to the Act and its subordinate legislation.  The Guide will provide information relating to:

  • residential care;
  • home care;
  • flexible care; and
  • residential respite care. 

The Guide can be accessed on-line at the Guides to Social Policy Law website. You may wish to add this URL to your internet favourites as a quick link to the Guide.

The Residential Care Manual

The Residential Care Manual (RCM) will still remain available for historical purposes but no further updates will be scheduled.  The RCM can be accessed at The Residential Care Manual website.


If you require assistance or have any queries in relation to the Guide, or the discontinuation of the RCM, please email the Department at AgedCareGuide@dss.gov.au


This is the first version of a new approach to the way the Department presents information to aged care stakeholders.  The Department consequently would like to receive feedback on the Guide from its users including, but not limited to:

  • the presentation of content;
  • functionality of the Guide; and
  • further enhancements you may like to see made to the Guide.

Such feedback will help the Department to refine the Guide in order to make it a more effective and user friendly resource for aged care stakeholders.

If you would like to provide the Department with feedback please email the Department at AgedCareGuide@dss.gov.au

Please Note

The Department is proud of this initiative but would like to acknowledge that there are areas within the Guide that will require further updates including to reflect future changes to the Act and its subordinate legislation over time.  Additional information will also be published as it becomes available. The Department apologises for any inconvenience this may cause users.

It is also important to note that the Guide is in no way intended to be a legal document. Should you require specific legal interpretation about the application of any part of the legislation, we advise referring, in the first instance, to the Act, its Principles and/or seek independent legal advice.

Thank you for your cooperation and patience as we roll out the Guide.

Further historical information on the aged care legislation changes is available.

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