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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 22 September 2005) . . Page.. 3572 ..

The council has also had valuable input into the provision of aged care facilities through the implementation of the “building for our ageing community” strategy. It has advised on flexible employment and retirement conditions—advice that was incorporated into the mature age employment action plan. It has taken a leading role in assessing applications for ACT seniors grants and held preliminary discussions to develop a needs analysis brief to consider options for increasing access and mobility for older people.

Future plans for the council include monitoring the elder abuse prevention project; working with the ACT Community Inclusion Board on programs to reduce social isolation; taking a major role in the 2005 Canberra Retirement and Lifestyle Expo, and developing a new strategic plan to guide the future work of the council. The council has an important impact on every aspect of ageing in the ACT. I am personally grateful to the council members for volunteering their expertise and time.

I take this opportunity to put on the record the government’s appreciation for the contribution made by Peter Brady, the recently retired director of the ACT Office for Ageing. Mr Brady’s tireless advocacy and his clear grasp of the need to ensure that older Canberrans are fully engaged in every aspect of the life of the community have truly made a difference to the quality of life of many in our community. His contribution to the success of the ministerial council cannot be overstated.

Mr Brady contributed significantly to public policy formulation in the ACT over a period of more than two decades, particularly in the planning, community affairs and social policy areas. His most notable contribution was to implement the plan for older persons—a Labor Party commitment in 2001. This involved, among other things, creating and managing the ACT Office for Ageing; providing policy support for members of the ACT Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing; developing and leading the implementation of the response to the Assembly’s report on elder abuse; enhancing the Seniors Week activities and the seniors card scheme, and securing significant government funding for refurbishment of seniors club premises. Mr Brady’s commitment and personal approach to the engaging of seniors in the representative groups greatly strengthened the links between Canberra’s older residents and the ACT government and its agencies, as well as generating well thought out and innovative responses to their complex concerns.

Mr Brady was well regarded by seniors and seniors groups in the ACT. He made a genuine difference to the lives of many seniors during his time as manager of the ACT Office for Ageing in the Chief Minister’s Department. It is thanks to the energy of people like Mr Brady and the members of the ministerial council that the concerns of older Canberrans are so central to the policy-making and program delivery of the government. The Canberra community can be confident in the knowledge that the policies and programs this government makes in relation to ageing are informed and enriched, and that our perceptions and perspectives on ageing are greatly broadened by the professional, community and business representatives appointed by the council.

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