Ken O’Dowd discusses the housing shortage Flynn is facing for senior citizens.
Ken O’Dowd discusses the housing shortage Flynn is facing for senior citizens.

Do we care for our aged?

GLADSTONE region has been discussing what could be done to encourage organisations or businesses to build aged care facilities in recent months.

Gladstone Regional Council has decided to call for expressions of interest from not-for-profit organisations to build, manage and maintain aged care facilities on five council-controlled sites in the region.

It has been said that Gladstone has not been seen as a place for retirees or those needing to live in aged care facilities.

The Federal electorate of Flynn candidates, sitting member Chris Trevor and Liberal National Party-endorsed candidate Ken O’Dowd, this week contribute to the debate.

This week’s question is: What would you and your party offer to encourage the aged care facility providers to build in the region?

Ken O’Dowd

As I travel around the electorate I am hearing that the ageing of our population is a major social issue facing families in Flynn.

There is a very real concern that our aged care system is over-regulated, underfunded and facing increasing challenges to provide a good standard of aged care.

People are concerned that families are being separated due to their aged care needs and our older Australians shouldn’t have to be shunted off somewhere else to live and be cared for. Our older residents and their families have the right to be able to access aged care services that they need, when they need them and most importantly, here in this region.

I am determined that we keep faith with those who have contributed so much to our community and I pledge to support aged care providers who apply for places in the Gladstone region. I have consulted with the Shadow Minister for Ageing and have made arrangements for her to visit the electorate and meet local stakeholders in the aged care industry.

It saddens me that Federal Labor have ignored requests for more funding from the Aged Care Industry Council. I know that Mr Trevor had a tough week last week when the union heavies decided to dump Mr Rudd who was his hero. Mr Trevor should be focusing on the needs of his electorate. We don’t need another review to join the long list of reviews and broken promises. We need real action.

Chris Trevor

We all know that Gladstone is a great place to live, work and raise a family.

But what happens as we grow older and our needs change?

We are currently facing a shortage of suitable housing options for our senior citizens. This has an effect, not only on our senior citizens and their families, but on our wider community as well.

We all suffer when our much-loved grandparents are forced to leave town in their retirement years solely because of a lack of suitable housing.

When this happens local families can lose the vital support network that grandparents provide.

Our community also suffers by losing our base of loyal volunteers. We can become a less balanced community, missing out on the wisdom and insight that older generations offer us.

It is often said that it takes a village to raise a child and as a father of five I know firsthand the vital support that my own mother, Iris, plays within my family.

I am proud to be part of a Government that recognises and delivers for senior Australians. I am determined to build on the significant reforms to the pension system and other recent announcements on affordable housing for the Gladstone region.

However, I believe that to truly fix this problem we need to start thinking as a united region.

The Gladstone showgrounds may be an ideal location for a retirement village.

This also provides us with a unique opportunity to work together and provide not only better aged care facilities but also better facilities for our local show and motor sport clubs. But I respect people’s interests and after all there may be alternative sites.

I am committed to help deliver a win-win situation for our senior citizens and the wider Gladstone community.

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