Older Victorians still waiting for ‘Getting Things Done’
The 2018-2019 State Budget is a missed opportunity to invest in policy and programs to create a community inclusive of older Victorians. According to COTA CEO Ronda Held, “Getting Things Done” fails to deliver on budget priorities for older Victorians: Elder abuse, community transport and employment.
“Elder abuse reporting is on the rise and we are seeing increasing numbers of older people contacting our legal service Seniors Rights Victoria for urgent advice and advocacy. We are simply not able to meet this growing demand and there was no additional funding for this critical statewide service” said Ms Held. “While we acknowledge the continuation of the pilots of the Integrated Models for elder abuse, the demand for our specialist statewide service continues to rise with increased community awareness of elder abuse”.
Roads, rail, buses and infrastructure are headline funding announcements in this year’s budget. “Whilst these areas are essential economic investments, we are dismayed to see Victoria’s fragmented and poorly funded community transport miss out yet again. This is a vital service for older Victorians and the ongoing viability of community transport providers is at risk as gaps in meeting the costs of delivering services is not being matched by funding received”.
COTA urges the Andrews Government to consider COTA Victoria’s Agenda for Ageing and include older people as part of its jobs for the future focus. There need to be meaningful employment opportunities for older Victorians and unfortunately, the 2018 – 2019 budget has not seized the economic potential older Victorians”.
COTA Victoria commends the announcements for building the capacity of the health system in metropolitan and regional Victoria to better respond an ageing population. Under this budget, Victoria will have a health system that can better respond to an ageing and diverse population. Funding for hospitals and improved access to elective surgery are welcomed. Rural and regional hospitals will get upgrades to better care and treat more patients and the public sector aged care system will receive an additional 26.6 million. Ambulance services and the Patient Transport Assistance Scheme will also receive additional funds. COTA also commends the additional funds to better meet the healthcare needs of Trans and gender diverse people.
COTA commends the record investment in mental health and Victoria’s vocational education and training system to meet future workforce challenges. According to COTA CEO Ronda Held “We are pleased to see the inclusion of nursing, personal care, ageing support and community services as part of the new investment in training to build the workforce needed to support quality of life for older Victorians needing assistance.”
“We will continue to review the details of the budget with the State Government in the coming days and will be looking for further policy announcements in the lead up to the state election to ensure older people are included in “Getting Things Done”.
Media enquiries: Ronda Held 0450 785 437
Donna Swan 0419 896 30