We have been developing our statement of priorities for the 2020 Queensland election. This statement will inform political parties and candidates participating in the 2020 Queensland State Election about the needs, concerns, and interests of the large and growing number of older people in our state.
Queensland, like the rest of Australia, has seen some extraordinary changes in the first half of 2020. We have seen what change is possible when bureaucratic barriers are removed, shared wellbeing is valued above perceived differences, and a spirit of collaboration is encouraged. We have seen individuals and communities leap into action to support each other, a collective prioritisation of those most in need, and some new thinking about what our communities and our state could look like into the future.
We are asking the incoming Queensland Government to take these learnings forward over the next four years.
Our vision is that:
- Queensland adopts a whole-of-Government age-friendly framework that is supported at all levels of Government and across all agencies. All Queensland Government agencies work collaboratively to consider policies, programs, services, and planning across all eight of the age-friendly domains.
- The Government works collaboratively with communities to identify and solve issues and create positive change across systems. Local leadership, including the work of community groups and organisations, is valued. The Government provides support across sectors that is flexible and responsive to large- and small-scale community-led priorities.
- The Government shows leadership in addressing ageism, taking a strong stand against stereotyping and ageist attitudes and language, and actively supporting initiatives that bring the generations together. As part of a commitment to human rights, all policies and programs are reviewed for inclusiveness, respect, and intergenerational fairness in language, intent, and consequence.
- There are well-resourced, easily accessible programs to combat elder abuse and support those experiencing it.
- The Government leads by example and through practical assistance to directly address age discrimination in employment, bringing together the education and business sectors and older people to co-design solutions that address the issue from multiple angles.
- Queensland has an integrated health system for the whole of life that places people at the center of care. The system ensures equitable access, no matter a person’s diagnosis, age, location, or resources. As with all areas of policy, health is seen as interconnected to other areas of communities including transport, housing, and social and civic participation. The Government encourages, tests, and embeds integrated models that connect these domains.
- There are clear and navigable pathways to services throughout the lifespan, including mental health, carer, dementia, and disability supports, aged care, palliative and end of life care. The Queensland Government leads collaboration across sectors and across Federal, State, and Local Government responsibilities including co-design with consumers to work towards and integrated system.
- All Queenslanders have access to adequate, appropriate housing that they can afford. Housing stock meets the diverse needs of Queenslanders at any stage of life. Housing, and home modification programs, are flexible to allow people to stay in their home and their community of choice. People have the information they need and are supported to make housing decisions that are right for their future. Homelessness support programs are equipped to ensure access to appropriate housing and other supports and to respond to diverse needs including specialised needs of older people.
- Concessions are secure and they respond to increases in cost of living to reduce financial pressure on Queenslanders. People know what they are eligible for and there are simple, clear, coordinated pathways to access.
- Affordable and accessible transport options are available no matter where in Queensland a person lives. Transport is designed with reference to all other age-friendly domains to ensure it is accessible for people of all ages and abilities, financial and life circumstances, and that it effectively and meaningfully supports community participation and access. The Government facilitates and encourages a collaborative process between stakeholders, including consumers, to identify gaps and strategies at the local as well as state level.
- All Queenslanders have access to energy supply they can afford and support in navigating the energy market. Consumers have choice and equal protections to ensure they are not disadvantaged, no matter where they live.
- Queenslanders have equitable and affordable access to reliable internet no matter their location or circumstances and supports are available for people to use technology. Those who are not online continue to have full opportunities for participation in social, economic, and civic life.
Our full statement of priorities, with a detailed action plan for the Queensland Government, will be made available soon.