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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 15 August 2018) . . Page.. 2968 ..

Aid for older people in the ACT who are experiencing, or are vulnerable to, elder abuse.

We have added funding for additional staff to the office for veterans and seniors to develop policy, work with community groups and to help support my ministerial advisory councils for ageing and veterans. There is also additional funding for staffing in the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate’s HR area to drive the veterans employment program, which I have previously announced.

This is in addition to the work being done in other portfolios to benefit older Canberrans, such as the expansion of the general rates aged deferral scheme, expanding the older persons mental health intensive treatment service, continuing the free off-peak bus trial, continuing the age-friendly suburbs initiative, and a number of other measures in this year’s budget.

Our veterans and our seniors are highly valued members of the Canberra community, and I am very pleased that this year’s budget continues to build support for them.

MS CODY: Minister, can you outline what benefits these measures will provide for seniors in the community?

MR RAMSAY: I thank Ms Cody for the supplementary question. In this budget we are growing services for our growing city. We have grown the pool of funding available for our seniors community inclusion grants. There will now be $80,000 available this financial year and then into the future to help ensure that our seniors are and remain connected and integral members of the city. This is important as our seniors continue to give back so much to the city even after they retire, whether it is through volunteering, work, community service or to their family, in addition to the rich diversity they bring to the city. The government wants to support them in many ways to do this.

We will be increasing the number of suburbs that receive age-friendly upgrades to ensure that our seniors can get around the city more easily. This is important because these upgrades not only help support our older Canberrans but also provide good quality paths for kids on bikes and good crossings for the mobility impaired, and help people of all ages and levels of mobility to move around the city.

Through the newly established seniors rights service we will be growing the supports available to older Canberrans to protect against elder abuse. This abuse comes in many forms, and the specialist help that seniors can receive through Legal Aid and this service will help seniors to know their rights, to point them to these services should they require help, and to give expert legal advice to them when they need it. Elder abuse is insidious and it can rob older Canberrans of quality of life in later years. This service is just one of the ways we are seeking to combat it.

MS ORR: Can the minister outline what benefits these measures will provide for veterans in the community?

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