Monday, 19 October 2009
Statements by Members
Swan Electorate: Seniors Forum
Last Thursday I held a seniors forum at Queens Park Homestay Village in my electorate of Swan. I am pleased to report that the forum attracted a lively and inquisitive audience of senior Australians and was supported by both the shadow minister for aging, Margaret May, and WA Senator Chris Back. A number of issues were raised which I would like to mention briefly now.
Many seniors were unaware of federal government money they are entitled to. However, finding out about these entitlements is only half the battle. Feedback from seniors attending the forum indicated that simply completing these bureaucrat designed forms is too difficult for some. A lot of the seniors said they had to get other people to help them fill out many forms. They have many pages and they are too difficult for them to complete. Some of the bureaucracy seniors have to deal with seems ludicrous.
I know that the City of Canning offers services from time to time to assist seniors with their paperwork, but government also has a responsibility to make life easier and forms simpler. The mayor of the City of Canning, Mr Joe Della Donne, came to the morning tea and also explained the services and facilities available from the city. I see Joe was re-elected on the weekend, and I congratulate him. Other issues raised included the aged care crisis, pensions, superannuation and changes to aircraft noise in my electorate. Five aircraft flew overhead during the morning tea. After the formal part of the forum, I enjoyed a cup of tea and good discussion with homestay residents Ruth, Brenda and Lorna. My thanks to the homestay village managers, Kevin and Gloria Stilling, for their hospitality.