ACT Labor invests in targeted support for our older Canberrans

ACT Labor is building a city for all ages, a city that extends the opportunity to every Canberran to be fully engaged in their community.  ACT Labor values the role our older Canberrans have played and continue to play in shaping our city’s future.

We have responded energetically and creatively to look after our ageing population, investing in and improving services for older Canberrans, across all areas of government, like in housing, transport, healthcare, community services and recreation.

Canberra is Australia’s most age-friendly city and ACT Labor has worked hard to make sure older Canberrans are engaged and able to participate in the economic, intellectual and social life our community.

But there is more to do.

That’s why, if re-elected ACT Labor will provide $5.21 million over four years to support older Canberrans to be valued and engaged members of our community and help reduce their cost of living.

Our commitment to older Canberrans includes:

  • $620,000 to lower the qualifying age for the Seniors Gold Card from 75 to 70 years, providing free bus travel for 8,800 more older Canberrans, lowering their living costs and improving access to public transport and through it, their community.

  • Address transport disadvantage and accessibility, by providing $2.3 million to expand the Community Bus Service and 6 extra wheelchair accessible vehicles to provide more transport options for older Canberrans.

  • Establish more Men’s Sheds, like in Tuggeranong, committing $2.2 million to help community groups establish the sheds for older men, closer to where they live and provide greater opportunity to participate in their community.

  • Commit $50,000 to hold another ACT Older Persons Assembly, following the success of the first, to consult older Canberrans on the issues that are important to them.

 

Policy costings

ACT Labor will deliver $3.21 million in recurrent funding targeted towards supporting our ageing Canberrans, and $2.0 million in capital works funding.

ACT Labor invests in targeted support for older Canberrans

 

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

Total

Seniors Gold Card

$0.15m

$0.15m

$0.16m

$0.16m

$0.62m

Community bus service expansion

$0.56m

$0.58m

$0.59m

$0.61m

$2.34m

ACT Older Persons Assembly

-

$0.05m

-

-

$0.05m

Men’s Sheds (capital)

-

$1.00m

$1.00m

-

$2.00m

Men’s Sheds (recurrent)

$0.10m

$0.10m

-

-

$0.20m

Total

$0.81m

$1.88m

$1.75m

$0.77m

$5.21m

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How ACT Labor is already supporting older Canberrans

In Government, ACT Labor has a proven record of recognising the value older citizens and their contribution to our community as workers, volunteers, neighbours, and carers.

ACT Labor has also:

  • Delivered rates relief for older Canberrans through our land tax reforms. Under the changes, pensioners are eligible for a rebate of up to 50 per cent of their rates.  For the first time, self-funded retirees can now access the scheme reducing lowering living costs and income concerns;

  • Was the first public sector jurisdiction to allow 52 weeks grandparental leave without pay to permanent full, or part time, staff and to long-term temporary staff.

  • Were the first to introduce a Mature Age Payment to staff 70 years or older;

  • With the Commonwealth have delivered 297 older persons units across Canberra helping older public housing tenants to downsize into adaptable, purpose built, energy-efficient units; and

  • Provide health services to older Canberrans in mental health, falls prevention, rehabilitation, community care, one on one support for moving into aged care, and an GP Aged Care Day Service (GP visits to home / aged care)

What additional targeted support will ACT Labor deliver?

ACT Labor will reduce the qualifying age for the Seniors’ Gold Card

ACT Labor will reduce the current qualifying age on the Seniors Gold Card from 75 to 70 years, ensuring that even more Canberrans have access to free ACTION bus travel.

We introduced the Seniors Gold card in 2008 to provide free bus travel for older Canberrans.  In 2011-12 as many as 226,000 free trips have been made by over 75s.

ACT Labor will now provide free bus travel for everyone over the age of 70 years of age, by lowering the eligibility age from 75 to 70 years.  It means an additional 8,800 older Canberrans will benefit by lowering their living costs and improving their access to public transport.

 

ACT Labor will provide more Community Bus Services

ACT Labor believes addressing transport disadvantage and accessibility is a critical component to preventing social isolation.

The Regional Community Bus Service increases social inclusion and community contribution and participation from people at risk of social isolation due to a lack of transport.  The current program provides an average of 2,860 passenger trips per month.

Community transport services address the mobility and access needs of people who do not have ready access to a private motor vehicle and who have difficulty using public transport.

ACT Labor will expand the community bus service with an additional six vehicles to be leased to the Regional Community Services.

These new vehicles will be smaller than those currently available, providing greater flexibility in use.  They will also be wheelchair accessible.

ACT Labor will also provide funds for drivers to ensure the service is operated as needed, and will continue supporting the leases, maintenance and running costs of the vehicles.

 

ACT Labor will host a second Older Persons’ Assembly

ACT Labor is committed to consulting older Canberrans on the issues that are important to them.  We have established a highly successful Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing, which draws on the expertise of peak bodies, industry and the community to advise the Government.

The first ACT Older Persons Assembly was held on the eve of the United Nations International Day of Older Persons, 30 September 2011, the first of its kind for Australia.

A key message that was delivered to the ACT Government from delegates who attended the Older Persons Assembly was that older people deserved a greater level of respect and the right to feel more valued within our community.

ACT Labor is committed to holding another Older People’s Assembly during the next term of government.

 

ACT Labor will establish more Men’s Sheds

ACT Labor has assisted in the establishment and operation of ‘men’s sheds’ like that at Tuggeranong.  Men’s sheds provide opportunities for older men to contribute to society and increase their sense of self-worth and well being.

ACT Labor will provide $2 million to assist the development of more men’s sheds across Canberra, and provide grants to a total value of $200,000 to assist groups in conducting feasibility and design studies.