Council fails seniors: Labor

The Brisbane City Council has shirked its responsibility to seniors, the Opposition said today.

Opposition leader Shayne Sutton criticised the council’s plan to deliver a seniors-friendly city, and called their draft Seniors Strategy for 2011 to 2016 a disgrace.

“It’s noble and idealistic,” she told today’s council meeting. “We need more detail… More concrete policies and initiatives.”

The draft strategy aims to support seniors both financially and socially, with the number of Brisbane seniors set to increase by 20 percent by 2026.

Chair of the council’s lifestyle committee Geraldine Knapp said the initiatives were terrific, and the strategy’s focus on helping the elderly to live in their own homes was particularly important.

But the Council was unable to provide enough detail to satisfy the Opposition, Councillor Steve Griffiths of the Moorooka Ward voicing his disappointment at the lost opportunity for reform.

“They are fine words, but the wrong priorities,” he said. “It’s not a vision. It’s a mirage and it tells us the same, tired things.”

The Opposition called for improvements to transport for seniors as well as definitive ways to tackle the isolation many may experience as they grow older.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk defended the strategy and reminded the chamber the strategy would be rolled out over the next five years.

“The plan has a whole range of strategic priorities,” he said.

“And I look forward to putting this report into action.”

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