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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 03 Hansard (Thursday, 19 March 2015) . . Page.. 897 ..


Delegates also called for additional bus seats within bus shelters, and as a result the Territory and Municipal Services Directorate will continue the task of upgrading or installing new seating and shelters based on the community need. All of this work in the infrastructure context will continue to help our seniors to lead a safe, healthy and socially connected life.

Following budget funding in 2014, Roads ACT has commenced work on an age-friendly suburbs project in Ainslie and Weston. One of the areas of focus is how to make travel through these suburbs easier and safer for our seniors in terms of active travel—that is, anything which is not car travel, of course. The Territory and Municipal Services Directorate and the Council on the Ageing ACT are currently undertaking community consultations to identify the most cost-effective infrastructure improvements and to examine the broader aspects of what would make these suburbs more age friendly.

The ACT government is also undertaking work to improve the delivery of a range of services so that they can be better accessed by older Canberrans. An example of this is the support and assistance that can be provided to older Canberrans so that they may become more connected through modern communication technology. ACT libraries already provide our seniors with internet and computer training, and an excellent example of this important work is the ACT digital hub at the Gungahlin library. The hub provides a number of training sessions that cater to older Canberrans with little or no previous computer experience. CIT also provides special courses for seniors with no previous computer knowledge.

Transport also plays an important role in helping older people stay connected. To further complement the bus services for older Canberrans, ACTION has introduced a flexible bus service for those who have limited access to public transport. The flexible bus service provides a home pick-up service throughout the suburbs with localised zone areas in the territory, and delivers passengers to their local shopping centre. Again, it is the right services at the right time. Public transport is the easiest and most convenient way for seniors to travel around the capital. The ACT government has also made travel easier, with the provision of free travel on ACTION buses, which has been reduced from 75 years to 70 years of age. I am also looking forward to working with my colleague Minister Corbell regarding the capital metro initiatives to ensure that age-friendly considerations are taken into account in developing light rail in our city.

We have been celebrating the role and contribution of seniors through ACT Seniors Week. The week provides an opportunity not only to celebrate but also to acknowledge our older Canberrans and their lifelong contribution to the ACT community. Seniors Week encourages all older Canberrans to find out about what is currently available in Canberra in terms of social or special interest groups, activities and services. It also provides an incentive for seniors to get out and about and to make some new friends, to stay socially connected and active and to maintain a healthier lifestyle. There are hundreds of events going on, and I encourage members to visit the Council on the Ageing website at www.cota.act.org.au to find out more.


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