Page 2985 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 6 August 2008

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The Assembly voted—

Ayes 8

Noes 7

Mr Barr

Mr Gentleman

Mrs Dunne

Mr Seselja

Mr Berry

Mr Hargreaves

Dr Foskey

Mr Smyth

Mr Corbell

Ms Porter

Mr Mulcahy

Mr Stefaniak

Ms Gallagher

Ms Porter

Mr Pratt

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

Ageing population

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (5.25): I move:

That this Assembly notes the importance of social inclusion for the ACT’s ageing population.

I am sure members will join with me in affirming how important social inclusion is. To us in this place, not a day goes by that we are not fully engaged in a myriad of activities that keep us active, contributing members of our community. There is a wealth of evidence to show that if we remain active and engaged, we will remain healthier longer, both physically and mentally. We will make a greater contribution to the total social and economic capital of our society and it makes sense that we will also cost our society less in terms of health and social supports. Social inclusion is vitally important.

The Stanhope government recognises the changing demographic profile of the territory and has been active over the last few years in supporting people as they age in assisting them to remain active and engaged in the community. The 2006 census indicated there was close to 66,000 people in the ACT aged 55 years and over. Back in 1996, this figure was only 42,000. In the 2006 census, over 31,500 people were aged 65 years and over and by 2047, the proportion of people in the ACT aged 65 years and over is expected to reach 21.5 per cent of the total population, more than double the current proportion of 9.7 per cent.

In looking to support older people, one of the many areas the Stanhope government has been working on in recent times has been combating social isolation experienced by older people. As part of achieving this, the Stanhope government is committed to the principles of good community consultation. Right now, the ACT Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing is currently seeking new members to ensure it is truly representative of the whole community.

Just last week, the Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing held a seminar on social integration to allow community input into what practical measures can be taken to increase social inclusion and reduce social isolation, which is part of a larger research project being undertaken into social isolation amongst older people in the ACT. Older

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