Page 2988 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

with the earlier discussion raised by Ms Porter. I think we have canvassed today an important range of issues for the ageing members of our community.

I also note that Mr Doszpot does have a genuine interest in these matters and I think it is disappointing that he has brought a tangled motion of genuine issues entwined with some rather partisan threads. And on those grounds, I will not be able to support the motion.

The ACT certainly has a fast-growing population of older Canberrans, and there are many issues that they face. I think this is well recognised. It is going to be one of the great challenges for this nation in coming years. As the population gets older, there are a multitude of issues that we as a society are going to need to address. Whether it is in urban design, in the provision of health services or in a whole range of things that we could probably have several days of discussion on, there are incredible policy challenges coming down the line around the issues of an ageing population.

What I should note from Mr Doszpot’s motion is that he has particularly raised the issue of changes to superannuation. I should be quite clear that there is not a federal Labor-Greens government and there is certainly not a federal Labor-Greens shared policy on superannuation, as he has alluded to in his motion. The federal Labor government does have control of superannuation policy, and there is nothing in the agreement between the two parties around that matter.

But let me turn to where the ACT government does have responsibility. Mr Barr, with his portfolio responsibilities, will also make some comments shortly around some of the matters that Mr Doszpot has raised. But certainly as the Minister for Ageing in the ACT, I can say that the ACT government has a very significant range of policies and initiatives directed towards making it simpler for assisting older Canberrans with a range of matters.

Mr Doszpot started off with some really good comments in the early part of his speech about the challenges that arise but I was surprised by the poor reflection on the positive ageing plan because it actually does set a really important framework and is a recognition from the ACT government that this is a really important issue, one that we do want to have a clear strategy on and a focus for government. I think that that is a solid foundation for the government to be focused on, issues for older Canberrans.

There are policy areas right across the spectrum, as I have touched on, where the government is seeking to take this seriously. I spoke earlier about the age friendly cities and communities conference which is taking place later this year. And I think that is an example of the government’s focus on trying to bring these issues into debate, into public discussion. I fear talking about some of the issues the government is talking about, as I suspect there is going to be a derisory response that says, “That issue of itself is not the real issue. That is not the thing I am talking about today.”

But I guess the point I want to convey on some of these issues is that the government is seeking to work on these issues for older Canberrans, and each of these things forms a part of a larger puzzle of seeking to ensure there is a focus, a discourse and a series of practical responses to the challenges that older Canberrans face, whether it is

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video