Jo Haylen, Labor Shadow Minister for Seniors, has called on Premier Gladys Berejiklian to get serious about seniors and appoint a dedicated Minister for Seniors, five months after John Sidoti was forced to step aside pending an investigation in ICAC.
Liberal Politician Geoff Lee has been acting as Minister for Seniors since September 2019.
“With Seniors Week events kicking off today, Gladys Berejiklian doesn’t even have a permanent Minister to send along. What an embarrassment,” Ms Haylen said.
“We know that the contribution seniors make to our community is too often overlooked or undervalued, and the failure of Ms Berejiklian to appoint a permanent Minister sends a terrible message.
“Seniors Week is about honouring the extraordinary contribution of seniors and this year Labor acknowledges them and the many seniors who assisted in the bushfire effort, either fighting fires or volunteering by making meals, running evacuation centres or caring for pets and animals.”
Despite making up only one sixth of our population:
- 1 in 8 people over 65 are employed or undertaking training;
- 1 in 5 volunteer in their local community on a regular basis;
- 1 in 7 provide unpaid child care to family members or friends; and
- People over 65 years of age make up roughly 23% of all carers in our community.
“Ms Berejiklian needs to act quickly and make sure seniors have a real voice at her Cabinet table, not a stand in who is juggling a raft of other priorities,” Ms Haylen said.
“Seniors in NSW are facing serious issues with elder abuse, scams, failing aged care facilities, rising homelessness, and have been disproportionately impacted by bushfires, yet still Ms Berejiklian is holding out on appointing a full-time Minister to help them.”