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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 03 Hansard (Thursday, 19 March 2015) . . Page.. 898 ..

We recognise that our seniors do not form a single group, and their diversity is no different from that of other groups within our community. We know that seniors want to be valued and included, they want to participate and they want to be treated equally. Older Canberrans include people who were born in Australia and those born overseas who represent a multitude of cultural backgrounds, different life experiences, different levels of education, different levels of personal financial security and vastly different family structures and support networks.

I was therefore pleased to launch in the Assembly last year a report into LGBTIQ and HIV-positive issues in aged care in the ACT. The report called for a better focus on developing safe, appropriate and affordable aged-care options that are free of discrimination, eliminate social isolation and incorporate a level of awareness and understanding of the LGBTIQ and HIV-positive community. This government is committed to making Canberra the most LGBTIQ-friendly city in Australia, and that includes our seniors.

In conclusion, the government are committed to improving the lives and wellbeing of older Canberrans. We shall continue our support and our important work to improve the livability of this city for older Canberrans and to continue our significant efforts to make Canberra a truly great age-friendly city of the world where our seniors feel included and valued members of the community.

I present the following paper:

Ageing—Ministerial statement, 19 March 2015.

I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

MR DOSZPOT (Molonglo) (10.15): I too welcome the opportunity to acknowledge Seniors Week. In Canberra this week it is a very packed program for seniors, and I acknowledge the work that COTA has done in bringing some of these activities together. Last week I attended a national seniors conference and was pleased to see so many people interested in their future and wanting to remain actively engaged within their community. I discovered that there is some resentment at the term “seniors” and the perception that people over a certain age should sit at home and vegetate and not remain active and outspoken on a range of issues. The federal government’s Intergenerational report highlights clearly that the paradigm is changing—that people are wanting to remain in the workforce longer than their parents did. They are living longer than their parents did and their expectations for their later years are higher than previously.

The government is also encouraging people over 65 to remain longer in the workforce, and it would be interesting to note our ACT government’s response to these initiatives. I have received complaints from older Canberrans about difficulties when they are seeking employment, and this applies to people from 55 years of age on. It would be interesting to see Mr Gentleman address some of these concerns. I will be speaking to some of these issues at his conference.

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