CANBERRA, AAP – The peak body for older Australians has urged whoever wins the May 21 election to take a whole of government approach to tackle issues faced by older Australians.

The Council of the Ageing Australia says it has never been more important to engage with older people as the population continues to age.

COTA chief executive Ian Yates has released an agenda he says sets out positive opportunities for the next government to improve the lives of older Australians.

“We are not apportioning blame for the past … our focus is on what can be achieved in the next three years. That’s what matters to older people, and indeed their families, which is really all Australians,” he said.

COTA is calling for the future government to address a number of key issues including ageism.


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“It’s time to remove ageism from Australia, especially to strengthen age discrimination legislation so it’s actually effective,” Mr Yates said.

COTA would like a much more concerted effort from government to prevent elder abuse, and straight forward policy changes for better, fairer and more effective retirement income policies.

Following the aged care royal commission, COTA says a new human rights-based Aged Care Act should be introduced to put older people at the centre of care.