Page 4276 - Week 13 - Thursday, 19 November 2015

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associated action plan, which I will be releasing today, was developed after extensive community consultation. The framework and plan express and provide guidance principles that illustrate the government’s priorities for the ageing spectrum over the next four years. Importantly, the framework and action plan serve to demonstrate our continuing commitment to Canberra being a sustainable age-friendly city.

The framework is intended to provide ideas and enable government agencies and non-government organisations to think about how they can best support older Canberrans. The action plan lays out how the framework’s aims will be realised. It covers areas including employment, social participation, community and health services, housing and transportation. Some of the practical outcomes identified in the action plan are: the ACT government and health service providers partnering to encourage awareness of elder abuse; supporting seniors to develop and maintain healthy lifestyles; strengthening opportunities for employment, training and volunteering for mature age workers; and improving access for older Canberrans within the community.

The substance of the framework was informed by the second older persons Assembly held in October 2014 as well as a number of community consultations which were held in June and July 2014 and involved over 15 community organisations, ACT government agencies and, of course, older Canberrans. Other valuable feedback coming from the ACT ministerial mature age workers roundtable held on 20 March this year also influenced the substance of the framework.

The framework sets out the government’s priorities and fully embraces age-friendly principles and features. An age-friendly city or community activity supporting the values and continued participation of its older citizens encourages them to fully participate in an active, socially inclusive and productive community life. To make this a reality, government and community need to adopt new approaches and thinking that will ensure that the needs of our older Canberrans remain in constant focus, especially in the context of social, urban and recreational planning in our city.

We want to enable older Canberrans to have opportunities for productive and meaningful lives with the added social ingredients of dignity and respect and to be valued by their community. In the past two decades, the World Health Organisation has called upon all governments to optimise opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance the quality of life of older people as they age.

Making our cities and communities age friendly is considered the most effective policy approach to respond to an ageing demographic. Our physical and social environments are the key determinants to enable older people to remain healthy, independent and socially connected long into their old age. The framework will create opportunities for the public and private sectors to recognise and support mature age workers to maintain or gain employment, providing older workers with greater economic participation and contributing to their overall wellbeing, sense of self-worth and independence within the community.

The primary objectives of the active ageing framework and associated action plan in the next four years will include providing services and programs that are inclusive,

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