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OCAV calls for government strategy on ageing

February 19, 2017

OCAV has called on the Victorian government to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy for older Victorians.

The call was made in its Victorian Budget 2017/18 submission in which OCAV argues that currently there is no overarching strategy to meet the changing demands of an ageing population.

OCAV CEO Phillip Wohlers believes the time has come to build on the Ageing is everyone’s business work by the Commissioner for Senior Victorians.

“As the proportion of the population over 65 expands rapidly, the Victorian government should take the lead in bringing together different portfolios to accommodate an ageing society and enable people to lead happy, productive and dignified lives as they age,” he said.

OCAV has also used its submission to call for more investment in social, affordable housing, public transport and better health systems for older Victorians.

Mr Wohlers said that despite promises to develop and release an integrated affordable housing strategy by end 2016, it had yet to happen.

“Unaffordable housing affects everyone. It causes rising rates of homelessness, more social housing demand, unaffordable and insecure private rentals, and high house prices that prevent people purchasing their own home. It marginalises older Victorians in need,” he said.

OCAV wants to see a specific strategy within the comprehensive agenda aimed at older people.

“One strategy does not fit all; For instance, older people may face particular problems with retirement living and rental security, and older people with disability may have difficulty finding accessible housing,” Mr Wohlers said.

Improving accessibility to public transport and investing in community transport are also high on OCAV’s agenda, arguing that the system is not geared up to an increasing number of older people requiring different public transport options as they age, especially in rural and regional Victoria.

“With changes to Home and Community Care services and the introduction of the NDIS, Victoria’s community transport is under threat, potentially resulting in people being forced to use high-cost, poor quality alternatives, or have no transport options at all,” he said.

Read the submission in full.

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