Page 343 - Week 01 - Thursday, 11 December 2008

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and Young People, Minister for Planning and Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation) : I seek leave of the Assembly to make a ministerial statement concerning portfolio responsibilities.

Leave not granted.

MR BARR: I present the following paper:

Ministerial statement—Portfolio responsibilities—Mr Barr.

Supplementary answer to question without notice

Racing industry

MR BARR: In question time, Mr Smyth asked me a question in relation to attendance at the racing ministers meeting. I have been advised, and I wish to correct the record, that at the last minute the Under Treasurer was not able to attend the meeting. The meeting was attended by other officials within the Treasury department.

Older Canberrans—empowerment and inclusion

Discussion of matter of public importance

MR SPEAKER: I have received letters from Ms Burch, Mr Coe, Mr Doszpot, Mrs Dunne, Mr Hanson, Ms Porter, Mr Seselja and Mr Smyth proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, I have determined that the matter proposed by Ms Porter be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The importance of promoting the empowerment and inclusion of older Canberrans.

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (3.03): I am happy to be able to raise this matter of public importance today. As members would be aware, we have a rapidly ageing population in the ACT, and ensuring that services and support for older people are relevant and accessible is vital. It is also important that every opportunity is given for older Canberrans to continue to fully participate in the community. We are all ageing, but that does not mean that being fully engaged stops at a certain age—for instance, 65. I joined the Assembly in my 63rd year. I had plenty of energy at that time and I still have plenty of energy to meet the challenges that we all have today.

Most of us, in fact, will remain healthy and active for the majority of our lives and we are all likely, on average, to live longer than our parents. It should be noted that it has been found that we will probably need the most assistance in, for example, health care, in the last two years of our lives. So we live longer, healthier, more fully engaged lives now than we ever did before. However, if we are to remain healthy and engaged, we need to be able to maximise our opportunities to be active and to enjoy a good quality of life.

We need to promote positive messages about ageing. Many of us will not retire at an early stage in our lives. When we do retire or scale back our paid work, we should be able to continue to engage in many aspects of our lives that give us satisfaction and utilise our skills and interests. We need to remain connected, and we may need

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