Page 4537 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 18 October 2011

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comprehensive multimedia information portal covering all forms of available information; health delivery service hubs catering to the broad needs of older people; enhancing Canberra Connect accessibility to older people; information sessions via multimedia to older groups; ensuring facilities are more accessible for older Canberrans; and introducing publications that are more user friendly and translated into community languages and targeted to age groups.

In the afternoon the six priorities were: allowing part-time and casual employment to meet the needs of special groups; incorporating universal design principles in all new infrastructure projects and buildings; considering legislative changes and incentives to promote positive aspects of employing older workers and to dispel the myths regarding older workers; establishing an incentive scheme to utilise the skills and experience of older persons for the benefit of society, such as exchanging of skills and services; releasing land and shortening building approval times in areas where older people live; and providing a service to help maintain the physical health and wellbeing by providing age-appropriate general practitioners who have access to e-health.

I would like to offer my thanks to the 70 delegates who attended the first-ever Older Persons Assembly to be held in Australia for taking part in a positive discussion and coming up with such a comprehensive list for consideration. Can I say thank you to the Chief Minister and to the other MLAs who contributed to what was a very successful day.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: Minister, was this a logical follow on from the Labor government strategy on ageing, and have you had any feedback from delegates that attended, if there was any?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Hargreaves for his question. It is. This government started a conversation with older Canberrans some time ago through community forums and working through organisations such as COTA and the Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing. I want to acknowledge Mr Hargreaves’s leadership and steerage in that component. It did result in the strategic plan for positive ageing.

All delegates were asked to complete an evaluation form at the end of the Assembly, and the results from this will be considered for future arrangements. The early results suggest that delegates were satisfied with the program and had sufficient opportunity to participate. Delegates also commented that they valued the pre-briefing held on 19 September, which provided them with a good understanding of policy background. Delegates have commented that they appreciated the positive atmosphere and the opportunity to contribute their ideas and provide direct feedback to the government and policy makers. They also welcomed hearing the views and concerns of a diverse range of delegates. A number of delegates commented that they would have liked a little more time to contribute to the committee hearings and to discuss some of the issues in more depth. More detailed analysis of the feedback will be undertaken, but any or all of that feedback will inform how and when we progress with the Older Persons Assembly.

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