On 14 August the Report from the Parliamentary Inquiry into Opportunities for Participation for Senior Victorians was tabled in the Victorian Parliament.
This landmark report has the potential to influence government actions and improve the quality of life for senior Victorians for decades to come.
The report released by the Family and Community Development Committee makes 35 recommendations with a key initiative being the establishment of a Commissioner for Older People. The Committee recommends that the Commissioner have clear responsibilities for the development and implementation of a whole of government strategy that effectively fosters participation of older people in Victoria.
In a media release, supporting this initiative and other recommendations made by the Committee, Acting CEO, David Craig said “Older Victorians face widespread and entrenched ageism according to the report. COTA Vic strongly endorses the recommendations of the Parliamentary Inquiry and urges the Baillieu Government to implement the necessary changes that would make Victoria a good place for people to grow older.
“One way of ensuring a transition to an age-friendly state would be to appoint a Commissioner for Older People. Such a Commissioner would be an independent voice and champion older people. A Commissioner would also make sure that the concerns of older Victorians are heard, that their human rights are protected and that they do not feel isolated or discriminated against.
“The aged population of Victoria will increase to well over one million in a few years time and unfortunately responses to ageing over the last few years have been quite piecemeal, so we desperately need a whole of government response driven by an independent Commissioner for Older People who reports drectly to the Parlaiment,” said David Craig.
The report is available on-line.
Section 36(1) of the Parliamentary Committees Act 2003 requires the appropriate Minister to provide a response to the Committee’s recommendations to the Parliament within six months of the tabling the report.