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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 March 2018) . . Page.. 687 ..


mainstream media does not mean that there is any level of disrespect for people who do. We have an ongoing way of listening.

During Seniors Week I was pleased, following on from the Chief Minister’s launching of Seniors Week at the Chief Minister’s concert on Tuesday, that people at that concert, both the Tuesday morning one and the Tuesday afternoon one, and throughout the week, and now people throughout the community, were and are able to engage in a survey as we continue to listen for our seniors’ views.

One of the things we are asking is: how do you gain the information that you wish to gain? Why do we ask that? Because, unlike the opposition, we do not clump all the seniors together and say, “This is the way they think; this is the way they hear; this is the way they communicate.” It is a matter of valuing all people individually and in the role that they play.

This government, under this Chief Minister—and it has my support wholeheartedly as part of that work—is seeking to demonstrate how we can continue to build an age-friendly city. That is happening in a number of ways under this particular budget. We have already extended the trial of the flexible bus service. We have provided free off-peak transport to seniors. We are providing skills support for people who, in their senior years, continue to wish to be employed. We are working over and over again. My Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing is leading work in relation to elder abuse so that all people can be valued, all people can know that they belong and all people can have an opportunity to participate in this community strongly and positively.

It is something that the Chief Minister is strong with; it is something that the Chief Minister has asked and encouraged me to work with. And it is something that the opposition is deliberately turning a blind eye to. It is deliberately closing its eyes and deliberately not understanding that you can affirm all ages and not at the same time condemn seniors. There seems to be this black-and-white, us-and-them thinking that is constantly promoted by those opposite. But, as they narrow things down, as they seek to diminish the role of our seniors by clumping them together and saying, “This is the way they think,” they are doing a disservice to and disrespecting our seniors, which we in this government will not do.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Urban Renewal) (11.27): The opposition’s motion should not be supported. It is a stunt and it is not even original. It comes from the playbook of Tony Abbott and his brand of negative politics. It is politics that Canberrans utterly reject. They do not want a backward-looking city, one that is built on fear, division and negativity. They want a strong, vibrant city, one that is growing, a city that is sustainable and prosperous, and a city that is powered by 100 per cent renewables, with world-class health care and education. We want to be the place that finds the solutions that make a better city, a better nation and a better world, and that is exactly what this Chief Minister is doing. That is what every member of his team is delivering as well.


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