In the 2012-13 Budget, the Government announced funding of $4.7 million over four years to establish a new ongoing Advisory Panel on Positive Ageing. The role of the Advisory Panel on Positive Ageing is to lead a national dialogue on ageing issues, improve coordination of policy design across portfolios, and work with the Government on implementation and design of ageing policy, including in response to the recommendations of the Advisory Panel on the Economic Potential of Senior Australians. The Panel will also conduct targeted consultations on relevant issues.
On 26 February 2013 Professor Brian Howe AO, a Member of the Panel, presented an address to the Chain Reaction Foundation Breakfast Café in Sydney NSW. His speech outlines the focus areas for the community which will assist in enhancing the economic potential of senior Australians.
On 23 July 2013, Professor Howe spoke at COTA's conference Rights, respect, recognition: A new deal for older Australians about housing choices for older Australians. View Professor Howe's notes from his session.
On 11 December 2012, the Panel invited housing industry representatives, including residential and retirement village developers, builders associations, National Housing Supply Council, and not-for-profits to discuss affordable and age-friendly housing. This discussion was wide ranging and looked at meeting the housing needs of older Australians into the future, noting that the availability of appropriate and affordable housing is critical to older Australians’ wellbeing. The Roundtable discussion was robust and constructive, with agreement between participants on the key areas where action is needed.
Participants agreed that more affordable rental housing is required, given the increasing number of older Australians who are renting. Other themes to emerge from the housing roundtable include the need for more housing stock with universal design principles to cater to senior Australians and the need to remove supply side barriers, particularly those that prevent the implementation of innovative solutions that increase the housing stock.
The Panel will draw on the conclusions from the Roundtable in advising the government on housing issues for older Australians.
The Advisory Panel
Members of the Panel are:
- Mr Everald Compton AM (Chairman), Chairman of the Advisory Panel on the Economic Potential of Senior Australians and the Consultative Forum on Mature Age Participation. Mr Compton is also the former Chairman of National Seniors Australia.
- Professor Gill Lewin, Professor at the Centre for Research on Ageing at Curtin University of Technology; Research Director at Silver Chain, a provider of community and health services in WA; and member of the Advisory Panel on the Economic Potential of Senior Australians. Professor Lewin is also the former President of the Australian Association of Gerontology.
- Professor Brian Howe AO, former Deputy Prime Minister with Ministerial experience in the fields of Social Security, Health, Housing and Community Services; Professorial Fellow at the Centre for Public Policy, University of Melbourne; and member of the Advisory Panel on the Economic Potential of Senor Australians.
- The Hon Susan Ryan AO, Age Discrimination Commissioner, former Senator for the ACT with Ministerial experience in Education and the Status of Women; and with extensive experience in the Superannuation industry.
- Mr Neville Roach AO, Chairman of the Advisory Board of Tata Consultancy Services in Australia and New Zealand. Mr Roach has held a range of executive and board positions in the information technology sector and has made a sustained contribution to Australia-India relations including as Chairman of the Australia India Business Council.
The Panel will meet approximately every two months. A secretariat has been established within the Treasury to support the Panel's work.
Scope of work
The objectives of the Panel are to:
- Raise awareness and lead a national dialogue on ageing issues, including how best to harness the economic and social opportunities presented by an older population.
- Provide feedback to Government on ageing issues and comment on policy design across government on matters of relevance to senior Australians, including consultation with ministers and departments in areas including retirement incomes, housing and employment.
- Conduct targeted consultation with key stakeholders, in particular the business community, on ways that the Government and community can increase the economic and social participation of senior Australians and inform Government of stakeholder feedback.
- Follow up the recommendations made in the reports of the Panel on EPSA and Forum on Mature Age Participation.
- Consider emerging issues as referred by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Mental Health and Ageing.
- The Advisory Panel on Positive Ageing was established in response to a recommendation of the Advisory Panel on the Economic Potential of Senior Australians (EPSA). More information about EPSA, including their publications, is available.
- The Hon Susan Ryan AO is a member of the Panel. She was appointed as Australia's first Age Discrimination Commissioner on 30 July 2011 for a five year term. More about her work as Age Discrimination Commissioner can be found at the Australian Human Rights Commission website.