The Gillard Government today welcomes the release of the third and final report, Realising the economic potential of seniors Australians: turning grey into gold, from the Advisory Panel on the Economic Potential of Senior Australians.
Today's senior Australians are better placed than earlier generations to live longer healthier lives. As a nation we are now well positioned to benefit from advances in health care, improved education opportunities and greater financial security.
The Government welcomes the recommendations of the Advisory Panel which go toward addressing how individuals, industry and governments can position Australia to benefit from a larger, more active population of seniors.
The Advisory Panel has made recommendations across a range of areas including participation, health, housing and learning. All these areas are vital to enabling senior Australians to actively contribute to our society.
The report envisages a longer-term campaign to support employers to identify and secure the benefits of hiring older workers.
The report also makes a number of recommendations to support lifelong learning, including a scoping study to examine ways for commercial provides to deliver an educational channel for older people, linked to universities, using existing or emerging technology, and recommendations to unlock the benefits of broadband technologies such as the NBN – particularly for senior Australians who may have mobility issues.
It also outlines steps that can be taken to support senior Australians who want to make a valuable contribution through volunteering and through a Framework for Active Ageing.
In addition, the report recommends that federal, state and territory governments work in partnership with the housing industry to address the challenges of housing an ageing nation.
For example, it recommends that state and territory governments remove stamp duty to help improve housing supply and encourage more efficient use of housing stock, with the revenue replaced with more efficient taxes, such as annual land tax.
To tackle the challenge of age discrimination, the report recommends that all federal, state and territory governments should undertake an audit of laws and policies to review and remove age-based limits and incentives.
Everyone — governments, not-for-profit organisations, the private sector, individuals — needs to work in partnership to realise the opportunities that arise from an ageing population, and 'turn grey into gold'.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the three members of the Advisory Panel: the chair Mr Everald Compton, Professor Brian Howe and Professor Gill Lewin.
We would also like to thank the members of the community who contributed to the work of the Panel through providing submissions and participating in consultations held around the country.
A copy of the report is available at: www.treasury.gov.au/epsa
12 December 2011