Jul 14, 2015

Lack of federal leadership on cities will leave elderly stranded

The 2014-15 State of Australian Cities Report reinforces the need for Commonwealth leadership on cities policy, or risk leaving our elderly stranded in years to come.

ABS projections cited in the report indicate the proportion of people aged 65 years and over will increase from 14.2 per cent in 2012 to 20 per cent in 2041.

By 2031 the number of older people living in our capital cities will increase by more than 1.5 million people.

As our ageing population grows, we need to ensure appropriate transport options and services are available to support the health and independence of the elderly in our communities.

This means Commonwealth investment in public transport, as well as leadership on urban planning.

The 2014-15 State of Australian Cities Report makes it clear that older Australians will need easy access to transport as they approach 80 years of age.

Future transport systems and services will play an essential role in supporting independent, healthy ageing (OECD 2001), but dispersed aged populations combined with inadequate planning that necessitates travel to access services have the potential to create significant challenges.

2014-15 State of Australian Cities Report, pp.26.

Labor knows we need national leadership to ensure the productivity, sustainability and liveability of our cities.

An elected Labor Government will continue the production of an annual State of Australian Cities report, ensure there is a Minister for Cities and reintroduce both the Major Cities Unit and Urban Policy Forum.