Older Tasmanians

A Labor Government understands the value that older people contribute to our communities; and the challenges that they face, such as cost of living and remaining healthy for longer.

Tasmania has a high proportion of older people living in our community.

Labor knows that a coordinated and multi-faceted approach is required to best support older people in Tasmania.

Health

Labor is committed to ensuring that we can keep Tasmanians healthier for longer.

That means properly funding preventative health initiatives and programs that keep people out of hospital.

Labor has proposed the establishment of the Healthy Communities Commission, charged with identifying programs and opportunities to promote health and wellbeing in the community.

Wellness promotion, illness prevention and chronic disease management are key to quality health care and what we do now in preventative health will be worth even more to Tasmanians into the future.

The Commission will be informed by a board including non-government organisations and will fund programs to improve the health of the community.

The initiatives you have suggested could be considered by the Healthy Communities Commission.

Labor will also conduct a one year trial of free influenza vaccinations for all children and adults not eligible for the Federal program. We will also work with GPs to ensure the vaccine is stocked at their surgeries to remove the additional barrier of patients needing to go to a pharmacy and then taking the vaccine back to a general practice. The trial will be evaluated for effectiveness before continuing in 2019.

Mental Health

No Tasmanian should ever feel isolated and alone.

Labor supports initiatives that decrease the social isolation of Tasmanians.

Labor’s Putting Patients First – A Better Health System policy includes a comprehensive suite of mental health policies.

This includes increasing funding for Rural Alive and Well, which provides important support for people living in regional areas.

Labor is committed to better supporting carers of people living with mental ill health. A Labor Government will work with Mental Health Carers Tasmania to deliver two new projects in Tasmania; working with organisations to implement strategies to increase carer inclusiveness, and engaging with and supporting hidden carers in the community – those who don’t recognise that they are carers.

Protecting Older Tasmanians

A Labor Government would advocate for the development of a National Plan to combat elder abuse.

We will request the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute to develop a nationally consistent framework for preventing elder abuse.

Food security

Labor has committed to a Food Security Grants program to ensure that Tasmanians are able to access affordable nutritious food.  This builds on the work undertaken by Labor in government through the food security strategy which recognises that socially isolated Tasmanians often have poor access to nutritious food.

Online Access

Tasmania has the greatest digital divide in the country. Lack of access to digital technologies and internet creates social isolation and significantly impacts on many Tasmanian’s ability to access the job market, education, government services.

Labor believes that this is just not good enough.  With so many services only accessible online we recognise that we need to do more to make sure everyone is able to access them.

Labor is committed to keeping Online Access Centres open so that they can continue to deliver digital literacy programs to the community.

We know that many Tasmanians have not been able to afford to connect to the internet.

Labor will use the purchasing power of the next whole of government communications contract to include initiatives to improve internet access for low income Tasmanians.  It is encouraging to know that Australia’s national telecommunications companies formally  recognise there is a barrier and have offered to work together to solve the problem.

Cyber Crime

Responsibility for identifying and prosecuting cyber crime lies with Tasmania police.

Labor will commit additional resources to Tasmania Police, which will allow them to better address areas of demand like cyber crime.

Labor supports ongoing programs through Consumer Affairs to raise awareness of online scams.

Anti-Discrimination

Labor does not condone discrimination against workers for any reason including age. We want the State Service to be an inclusive workplace with diversity of employees.

Selection of candidates to work within the State Service and the Parliament must be based on merit and a candidate’s ability to meet the requirements of a position.

Labor will develop a long-term plan for the State Service, investing in stable, secure, ongoing employment opportunities, and putting a stop to the ongoing casualisation of our State Service.

The State Service Plan will sit alongside a commitment to good faith negotiations over pay and conditions including a review of employment practices, fixed term and casual to permanent conversion provisions and strategies to address the aging public sector workforce.

Labor is committed to ensuring that no worker is discriminated against.  We have committed to reviewing the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act to ensure that it is contemporary, reflective of the current work environment – which in many instances means working for longer – and is easier to interpret for workers and employers.

Housing

Labor has committed to a comprehensive range of policies to better house Tasmanians in our Homes for Tasmanians policy.

Labor has particularly committed to a long term lease program to incentivise land lords to provide long term leases to renters over 55 in the first instance.

We have committed to develop three new multi-residential developments which embrace environmental sustainability and reduces cost of living for tenants through solar hot water systems, energy efficient heating, cooling and lighting and substantial insulation.

Labor wants these developments to cater for Tasmanians at risk of homelessness including people over 55.

Labor has also committed to building 75 new homes for older Tasmanians in regional areas of greatest need to ensure that particularly people over 55 are able to live close to their friends and family.

We have concern about the unintended consequences of providing stamp duty relief for older Tasmanians to downsize their homes.

A one off stamp duty concession could result in a pensioner losing their concession card, which would result in higher costs in the long run.

Indexation

Labor has committed to providing indexation to peak bodies that are funded through the Department of Premier and Cabinet including COTA to enable them to continue its important role of program delivery and advocacy for the Tasmanian community.

Cost of Living

Labor is committed to addressing the cost of living through a range of policies.

We will allow all Tasmanians to pay bills such as power, registration and licenses in monthly instalments without penalty.

Labor will provide energy efficiency and heating upgrades for public housing tenants.

We will ensure that all new public houses built include solar and battery storage in order to reduce energy bills.

End of Life Care

Labor wants to empower Tasmanians to make choices about their end of life care, including palliative care and voluntary assisted dying.

Labor believes it is important that government provide high quality palliative care services in the community.

A Labor Government will provide funding to support 1000 Tasmanians a year to die at home with support from community nursing services.

Labor is also aware of the challenge many families face when dealing with the Guardianship and Administration Board when they are grieving.

Labor will fund a Liaison Worker to work with families navigating the Guardianship and Administration Board and to educate relevant service providers.

Dying with Dignity

The Tasmanian Labor Party supports Tasmanian’s choice to die with dignity.

In 2017 a Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill which was co-sponsored by Shadow Attorney General Lara Giddings MP was introduced into the Parliament. While this bill was defeated Labor supports Tasmanian’s to have a choice about their end of life options.

Labor allowed its members a conscience vote on the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill and continues to provide its members with free choice on this matters of conscience.