Page 895 - Week 03 - Thursday, 19 March 2015

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Thursday, 19 March 2015

The Assembly met at 10 am.

(Quorum formed.)

MADAM SPEAKER (Mrs Dunne) took the chair and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Ageing—Seniors Week

Ministerial statement

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Planning, Minister for Roads and Parking, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations, Minister for Children and Young People and Minister for Ageing) (10.03), by leave: As members may know, this week is ACT Seniors Week. As Minister for Ageing, I am pleased to provide members with a statement on the initiatives currently being progressed by the government to support seniors in our community. I also wish to talk about the progress that we are making in our journey to develop Canberra as one of the great age-friendly cities in the world.

As members will be aware, the term “age-friendly” best describes a city or community that is constantly evolving, being shaped and refined to become an environment that provides older people with an exceptional quality of life where access, personal security and the right to feel socially included, valued and respected are woven into the social fabric. In a planning context, an age-friendly city incorporates design features and recreational facilities that encourage older people to remain physically and socially active, maintain a healthy lifestyle, be socially engaged and explore opportunities that provide new life experiences as they age. The ACT government values its older Canberrans and it recognises their lifelong contribution to the urban and social development of our city.

Older Canberrans have worked with purpose and passion to build not only a national capital that we can all be proud of but also a living and vibrant cosmopolitan city. More than ever, Canberrans continue to make a major contribution to our community into their senior years—supporting family members, acting as carers, continuing to work or taking an active role in community life. Seniors are an essential part of the team that keeps our community strong, focused, vibrant and inclusive.

As part of the ACT’s membership of the World Health Organisation’s global network of age-friendly cities, we have made a commitment to continuously improve our age-friendly status. Part of this commitment is not only to plan for older Canberrans but to plan with older Canberrans. We know that the ageing population of Australia will continue to provide numerous challenges for our economy and our community.

The Australian government released the 2015 Intergenerational report last week. The report contains some long-term projections which include increases in our aged workforce participation rates for those over 65 years old. Over the next four years the

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