Australians concerned about the quality of aged care for their loved ones will soon be able to go to a powerful new watchdog.
But the reforms aren't enough for Bill Shorten, who insists the sector is in "crisis" and the government has been asleep at the wheel.
Following a string of scandals at nursing homes around the country, Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt has unveiled a plan to merge a number of agencies into a new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.
It's being dubbed as a "one-stop shop" to prevent failures and monitor and enforce quality standards.
"Importantly, the new commission will give senior Australians and their loved ones a single point of contact when they need help in dealing with claims of sub-standard care," Mr Wyatt said on Wednesday.
An independent commissioner will be announced and assisted by a new chief clinical advisor.
Mr Wyatt said he has met staff who are compassionate and caring while visiting facilities across Australia.
"But there are some bad apples in the mix," he admitted to the Nine Network, citing the closure of five centres which did not meet standards.
"I am not going to tolerate providers who do not meet what is required both within legislation, regulation and in terms of quality standards."
The minister said he was concerned to discover people could do a six-week online training course and become a personal care assistant.
Asked whether he would mandate staff ratios in aged care facilities, like child care centres, Mr Wyatt said there wouldn't be sufficient staff for small country towns or remote Aboriginal communities.
Mandated ratios in child care has increased costs for families, he added.
A Serious Incident Response Scheme will be set up to handle reports of abuse, breaches of standards and disease outbreaks.
There will also be a comparison tool on the My Aged Care website to compare providers against quality standards.
The peak body for older Australians said the overhaul was a significant step towards better monitoring.
"These are welcome steps towards rebuilding confidence that older Australians will receive safe and appropriate care," COTA chief executive Ian Yates said.
Labor leader Bill Shorten said the reforms were an overdue step, but there is much more to do.
"It is too little too late," he told reporters in Townsville.
"It is a national disgrace."
Mr Shorten said there was no point having strong standards if the workforce isn't paid well and there are exceptionally high waiting lists.
The new regime will be in place by January.
Australian Associated Press