- Wednesday 06 April 2011
Residents are invited to have their say on the Draft Sunshine Coast Positive Ageing Strategy 2011-2016 – endorsed by Sunshine Coast Council today.
The positive ageing strategy will contribute towards council’s vision to be Australia’s most sustainable region – vibrant, green and diverse. The strategy aims to build a strong, connected and vibrant ageing population on the Sunshine Coast.
The draft strategy – including the vision, principles and action plan – is available for feedback at council libraries and customer service centres and online from 7 to 26 April 2011.
Community Policy and Programs Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said the five year strategy had been developed to address the changing needs of ageing residents in the region whilst acknowledging the positive contributions they made to their communities.
"The purpose of the strategy is to understand and respond to opportunities and challenges presented by the ageing of the population on the Sunshine Coast," she said.
"While the positive ageing strategy is focused towards mature-aged people, the strategy also takes an intergenerational approach, working to increase the recognition and respect for ageing people in the broader community and encourage opportunities for older and younger people to connect.
"The draft strategy has been developed through extensive consultation with ageing people, along with the broader community, service providers, community organisations, government agencies and various areas across council to ensure the ageing community’s needs and aspirations are captured and reflected."
The Sunshine Coast has a substantial ageing population in line with the rest of Australia. The natural ageing of the Coast’s population is accentuated by the ‘sea change’ phenomenon resulting in a high number of retirees and ‘baby boomers’ moving to the region.
It is predicted that by 2026, 37% of the Sunshine Coast population will be 55 years and over, which is higher than the predicted percentage of over 55 year olds across Queensland of 30%*.
Cr McKay said the significant growth of the ageing population required a coordinated approach by council and various other partners to manage the impacts.
"The positive ageing strategy will guide council and its partners on how to address the needs of current and future older residents in the region," Cr McKay said.
"Council recognises the many established agencies on the Sunshine Coast that deliver services directly to senior aged people.
"The strategy promotes collaboration between council and these agencies, to share information, communicate and identify opportunities for partnerships. This approach will ensure agencies within the ageing sector on the Sunshine Coast work together to maximise benefits to older people.
"The draft strategy also promotes the creation of age-friendly communities. Age-friendly communities are places where older people can get around easily and safely, buildings and housing are accessible, transport is affordable, there are a range of opportunities to participate in community life, and all community members respect each other.
"Communities like these are not only beneficial for older people, but are places that people of any age or background can feel welcome."
The community is invited to have its say on the Draft Sunshine Coast Positive Ageing Strategy 2011-2016 by filling out the survey on council’s website before 5pm Tuesday 26 April 2011, or sending council a submission..
The feedback will inform the development of a final Sunshine Coast Positive Ageing Strategy 2011-2016, which is anticipated to be presented to council for consideration in mid 2011.
Send feedback via the online survey or email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to Manager – Community Planning & Strategy, Locked Bag 72, Sunshine Coast Mail Centre QLD 4560.
*Queensland Government, Planning and Information Forecasting Unit, 2008