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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 11 Hansard (21 October) . .

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Older persons assembly

Statement by minister

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Planning, Minister for Community Services, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations, Minister for Children and Young People and Minister for Ageing) (10.14), by leave: It gives me great pleasure to provide members of the Assembly with a statement of the outcomes of the second ACT older persons assembly, which was held here in the chamber on Wednesday, 1 October. I will also provide an outline of future directions and the next steps in our way forward to develop Canberra as the age-friendly capital of our nation.

It was good to see Madam Deputy Speaker chairing the day and Ms Lawder and Mr Doszpot also attending the older persons assembly, and I know many members caught up with the older persons assembly members during the break.

An age-friendly capital describes a city that is constantly evolving and is being shaped and refined to become an environment that will provide older persons with an exceptional quality of life where freedom of access, personal security, social harmony and the right to feel valued and respected are woven into the social fabric of our community.

In a planning context an age-friendly city incorporates design features and recreational facilities that encourage older people to remain physically and socially active, to maintain a healthy lifestyle, be socially engaged and to explore opportunities that will provide new life experiences as they age.

The 56 delegates who participated in the ACT's second older persons assembly also performed a special role in representing and speaking for and in support of many thousands of older Canberrans. As the Minister for Ageing and on behalf of the ACT government, I thank them for their collective efforts, for their participation in the consultation forums for the planning of the older persons assembly and for their contribution to the passionate and spirited debates at the assembly.

The debates centred upon three fundamental resolutions, and I will take this opportunity to provide the Assembly with a brief summary of each resolution, which incorporate amendments by our delegates during the debates.

The older persons assembly first resolution encompassed a broad paintbrush of current and future needs, considerations and identified actions within the theme of developing vital infrastructure for an age-friendly city. This resolution embraced a diverse but related range of recommendations including: the development of safe and accessible infrastructure for older Canberrans, including well-lit footpaths, underpasses and road crossings; installing appropriate signage and constructing appropriate paths to separate pedestrians and cyclists on shared pathways; imposing and regulating speed limits for cyclists and skateboard riders using shared pathways with older pedestrians; enhancing ACTION bus shelters with adequate seating and weather protection to address the needs of older Canberrans, particularly in proximity to shopping and community facilities; further development and enhancement of


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