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2022 State Election

Our 2022 State Election Platform represents the diverse voices, needs and interests of older people across seven areas of priority.

Five older people sitting next to each other on a bench in front of a window

Election Result Response

COTA SA welcomes Peter Malinauskas as the 47th Premier of South Australia. Our community looks forward to working with his government to make South Australia better and fairer for people of every age, address, gender, cultural background and circumstance.

Introduction

The document contains 18 recommendations which have been informed by you, our older South Australian community, through surveys, conversations, social media, letters and emails. Our hope is that the incoming State Government will use this platform to shape its policies and strategies for all older South Australians.

Summary of priorities

Through our consultation with older people, we have identified the following priorities for the 2022 State Election.

Ageing in Country SA

Supporting older people to age well in regional towns

Recommendation 1
That the incoming State Government immediately commissions the development of an Ageing in Country South Australia strategy, working with older people, local councils, businesses, government agencies and community groups to identify best practice examples and initiatives in response to critical issues in regional areas including housing, employment, digital inclusion, transport and health.

Recommendation 2
That the incoming State Government funds COTA SA to establish a Country Engagement Program to work with older people and stakeholders in country areas to promote ageing well, build local capacity and support options for people to remain in their community as they age.

Recommendation 3
That the incoming State Government maps, plans and sets targets for optimal levels of health and aged care staffing and services in country SA and then reports regularly against the achievements of those targets.

Digital Inclusion

Including older people in the digital world

Recommendation 4
That the incoming State Government researches and funds innovative, evidence-based, best practice programs that identify and target older people at risk of digital exclusion to help them to use the online world.

Recommendation 5
That the incoming State Government maintains non-online systems for access to information, support and all government and government funded services.

Ageism

Challenging age discrimination

Recommendation 6
That the incoming State Government funds COTA SA to lead key stakeholders in a multi-year, targeted media and awareness campaign that confronts and addresses ageism.

Employment

Supporting older people to find employment

Recommendation 7
That the incoming State Government funds a pilot project in regional South Australia to engage older workers and employers to trial new opportunities for mature employment and enterprise in country areas. This project should also investigate the work required to support upskilling, reskilling and workplace flexibility to create proactive employment opportunities for older people with a focus on older women.

Housing

Preventing homelessness for older people

Recommendation 8
That the incoming State Government increases the quantity of public and social housing available for older people by at least 100 homes per year.

Recommendation 9
That the incoming State Government uses age as a criterion of priority for housing for disadvantaged older people.

Recommendation 10
That the incoming State Government establishes a specialised advocacy and housing service that assists vulnerable older people living in housing stress to secure ongoing accommodation.

Health and Wellbeing

Supporting older people to be healthy and well

Recommendation 11
That the incoming State Government provides funding to enable the Strength for Life program to continue to meet the needs of older South Australians including in regional and low-SEIFA areas, with dedicated funding to develop a next generation model targeting CALD and First Nation Elders and the roll out of online access for isolated and regional South Australians.

Recommendation 12
That the incoming State Government prioritises and accelerates strategies to improve health outcomes and measures to reduce ambulance ramping for older people.

Recommendation 13
That the incoming State Government makes ambulance travel free for all Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders.

Recommendation 14
That the incoming State Government, with the Australian Government, addresses access to oral health care services for older South Australians, with an absolute priority on older people on low incomes.

Social Inclusion

Connecting older people to their community

Recommendation 15
That the incoming State Government funds the COTA SA Rainbow Hub to safeguard its current footprint and expand its reach to LGBTI elders living outside metropolitan Adelaide.

Recommendation 16
That the incoming State Government funds the extension of transport concessions beyond off-peak times.

Recommendation 17
That the incoming State Government reviews transport options in regional South Australia as part of an Ageing in Country South Australia strategy.

Recommendation 18
That the incoming State Government reinvests in COTA SA to provide peer to peer road safety awareness and education initiatives for older people.

Climate in All

In response to feedback from older people following the 2019–20 bushfires, COTA SA set up a Climate Change Group to explore the views of older South Australians about climate change. In 2020, we conducted a survey on climate change, released a statement of interest and arranged a webinar jointly with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) and headlined by Dr John Hewson AM.

Our research with older South Australians indicates a deep commitment to reduce the impact of climate change on future generations. There is also concern about the effect of climate change on the health of vulnerable groups including older people, fall out on the cost of electricity for older people in rental accommodation, an inadequate public and community transport system and the ongoing loss of tree canopy in our suburbs and towns.

Without proceeding to specific recommendations, COTA SA urges that the incoming State Government take a “climate in all” approach to the development and implementation of all policy and funding.

Responses Received to Election Platform

State Election Leaders Forum on Ageing

More than 120 people joined us at the Adelaide Pavilion and online on 1 March for our COTA SA Leaders Forum on Ageing. The purpose of the forum was to bring together the major political parties ahead of the 2022 state election so that you could hear about policies that will have a positive impact on older South Australians.

At the forum we heard from Minister for Health and Wellbeing the Hon Stephen Wade MLC from the Liberal Party, Leader of the Opposition Peter Malinauskas MP from the Labor Party, the Hon Robert Simms MLC from Greens SA and the Hon Frank Pangallo MLC from SA-Best about their vision of ageing in South Australia.

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