Home' SA 50s Lifestyle : SA 50 Autumn 10 Contents 22 Autumn 2010
Caring for our ageing population
What do you see as the major
issues facing South Australia's
RANKINE: The Rann Government
believes that an older population
provides positive opportunities and
benefits for our society.
Our State's current and continued
prosperity relies on the contributions
of older people, as workers, as
volunteers, as grandparents and
carers and we are committed to
ensuring that the lives of older
people are the best they can be.
This why we have delivered
Improving with Age -- Our Ageing
Plan for South Australia, a blueprint
for the government's priority
actions focussing on access to safe
and affordable housing, income
security, being and staying healthy,
independent and connected to
VENNING: South Australia
currently has the oldest population
in Australia with 15.4 percent of
the population aged 65 years and
over, compared with 13.3 percent
nationally, and with the prediction
that our ageing population will
continue to increase in the future.
The most pressing issue currently
facing all South Australians
regardless of age is water. Adelaide
relies on the River Murray and the
Hills catchments for 93 percent of
Both of these sources continue to
be under stress due to years of
protracted drought and we must now
look to alternative water supplies,
such as desalination and stormwater
harvesting, to secure our water
supply for the future.
Access to health care is a major
concern for all South Australians.
Record waiting lists for elective
surgery, along with prolonged
waiting times for appointments
with specialists, are currently
unacceptable and will deteriorate
further with our growing ageing
population if it is not addressed with
Older South Australians face
increasing difficulties in accessing
facilities and services in the aged
care sector such as residential
aged care facilities and home and
community care services.
The current level of funding for
residential aged care places and
community care services within the
home is too low to meet existing
requirements and will not meet the
growing demands in the future.
How does your party propose
to address these issues?
RANKINE: When first elected in
2002, the Rann Government took
action to re-build our economy.
Because of this, we have been able
to invest in a number of areas that
support older Australians.
We have established by legislation
that 15 percent affordable housing is
included in every new development
and the Premier agreed to exclude
the recent one-off increase to age
pension payments from household
income when calculating public
The government understands that
when people are on fixed incomes
they need income security. That is
why we have provided a vast range
of concessions including energy,
water, sewerage, council rates, car
registration and spectacles.
The payments provided by both
the State and Commonwealth
governments for pensioners who
are home owners has grown from
$519.40 per year in 2001 to a
minimum of $1146 in 2010. For
pensioners who are not home
owners, the combined payments
have grown from $144.40 in 2001
to a minimum of $781 in 2010.
We have also recently announced
significant reductions to land tax.
The Rann Government has also
introduced free public transport
during off-peak times for all South
Australian Senior's Card holders.
As we get older we become
increasingly reliant on our hospital
and health systems. To support
these the government has spent 93%
more on health services in 2009-10
than was spent in 2001-02.
Home and Community Care services
(HACC) support frail older people
to live independently at home and
remain in their communities. More
than 93,000 people benefit from
services across the State.
VENNING: A Redmond Liberal
Government will make water security
its first priority and will implement
a $400 million plan to capture 89
gigalitres of storm water at 13 sites
around metropolitan Adelaide and
will work to diversify Adelaide's water
A Redmond Liberal Government will
also work to reduce waiting periods
for elective surgery and outpatients
services, so that South Australians
can have their health problems dealt
with in an appropriate timeframe.
Federal funding must be increased
so that South Australians in their
later years can receive the support
they need, either in their home or in
a residential aged care facility, now
and into the future.
A Redmond Liberal Government
will lobby the Federal Government
for extra funding to South Australia
for residential aged care beds and
home and community care packages
to ensure that funding is in line with
our ageing population, the highest in
What services and facilities
need to be provided in the
near future to meet the needs
of the ageing?
RANKINE: The challenge we face
is harnessing and maximising the
benefits that our ageing population
will bring while at the same time
identifying the services and supports
required into the future.
The State of Ageing in South
Australia 2009 report provides a
statistical snapshot of the issues
and facts to equip us with the
information we need to respond to
potential issues and take advantage
of the opportunities an ageing
population will bring.
In the next 20 years, older South
Australians will not be the passive
recipients of services -- rather they
will have an increasingly important
role in the planning and delivery of
services to themselves and others.
The Rann Labor Government wants
all older South Australians to feel
valued, safe and supported so
they can look forward to an active,
healthy and fulfilling future.
VENNING: Water resources must
be secured to ensure a supply for
all South Australians into the future.
Health services must be readily
available and easily accessible,
public transport systems must be
put in place to support growing
communities and more in-home
services must be provided to help
South Australians remain in their
home for as long as they wish.
The issues facing South Australia's
ageing population must be dealt with
now, so that we are prepared for the
future as the demand for services
With the State election looming on March 20, SA50s
Lifestyle took the opportunity to find out how the
two major parties will respond to South Australia's
increasing ageing population. Minister for Ageing
Jennifer Rankine and Shadow Minister Ivan Venning
share their thoughts with our readers.
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