Specialist aged care providers operating in rural and remote areas of the country are to receive $135 million in infrastructure grants, the federal government has announced.

The grants – which will help providers improve services for First Nations communities and people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness – can be used for a variety of purposes, from minor equipment purchases to new builds, building upgrades, extensions or staff accommodation.

The investment will “help maintain or improve access to quality aged care services where they are needed most,” said Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells in a statement.

She added: “Importantly, these grants will further First Nations communities to receive quality, culturally safe aged care services.”

The grants are the first of two rounds of opportunities to open in 2023-24 under the new Aged Care Capital Assistance Program.

A second grant funding round will open in the first half of the new year. Eligibility will broaden in the second round to include all regional, rural and remote locations with a continued focus on improving access to quality aged care services for First Nations communities.

“I look forward to more opportunities to deliver improved infrastructure for First Nations elders in the second round of this program,” said Ms Wells.

Applications for the first round of grants closes Monday 12 January 2024.

Further information, including eligibility requirements, can be found here.

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