13 – Housing

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13 – Housing

Council’s purpose is to fully comprehend, address, and advocate for, Central Coast pensioner needs.

Council’s responsibility is despite the many categories of ‘pensioner’, and the provision of pensions
lying outside the jurisdiction of Council. Pensioners are an important part of the Central Coast
community and, as such, comprise an important part of the Central Coast social landscape. Council
responsibility for pensioners includes:

· Understanding the size and essential elements of each category of pensioner
· Understanding trends in pensioner population size, location, and their essential
requirements and additional aspirations
· In consultation with Central Coast pensioner communities and organisations, to assess the
adequacy of provision to each category of pensioner
· Make representations to the appropriate government for necessary funding for each
category of pensioner.
· Encouragement and support for pensioner-support organisations within the Central Coast
· Providing, as much as possible, for the needs of pensioners in areas such as:
(i) advocacy;
(ii) residential zone requirements;
(iii) oversight and inspection of residential contracts and experience
(iv) aged-friendly environments;

Elements/Actions:

12.1 Local Community Governance
12.1.1 Council will provide support to pensioner volunteers, service clubs, community
organisations, senior citizens
centres, neighbourhood houses, churches and commercial enterprises.
12.1.2 Council will investigate the advisability of developing a greater network of affordable
accommodation
options for pensioners.
12.1.3 Council will encourage the expansion of community gardens on public lands with
special emphasis on
pensioner participation
12.1.4 Council will develop programs in collaboration with community organisations such as
neighbourhood
centres, surf and sporting clubs to facilitate skills and knowledge transfer from
community elders.
12.1.5 Council will encourage participation in cultural activities targeted to older people
such as Seniors Week and
History events.
12.1.6 Council will investigate the feasibility of expanding community transport options (eg
ride sharing).

12.1.7 Council will investigate the feasibility of co-locating child-care and aged-care
facilities.

12.2 Central Coast Council

12.2.1 Council will seek to establish a Centre of Excellence for Retirement and Aged Care

12.2.2 Council will, as a preliminary to further actions, research the size and essential
elements of each category of pensioner, will research any trends in pensioner
population size, location, and their essential requirements and additional aspirations,
and will, in consultation with Central Coast pensioner communities and
organisations, assess the adequacy of provision to each category of pensioner

12.2.3 Council will consult, in concert with the university sector, separately with pensioners
and theirrepresentative organisations, in several different categories:
12.2.3.1. Aged
12.2.3.2. Carers
12.2.3.3. Unemployed
12.2.3.4. Disability
12.2.3.5.veterans with a view to identifying continuing barriers/facilitators
to successful:
(i) vocational training
(ii) full-time employment
(iii) safe and permanent housing
(iv) adequate medical support
(v) safe emergency haven from violence and intimidation.
Council will produce a Report on Central Coast Centre of Excellence for Retirement and Aged Care
with recommendations for appropriate action at different government levels: local; state; federal.

12.2.4 Council will retain rate and water rate concessions for aged pensioners who are
home owners.

12.2.5 Council will regard public libraries as a vital resource for older people. Council will
encourage libraries to play
an active role in meeting pensioner needs for self development and self
actualisation.
12.2.6 Council will ensure that community facilities such as Surf Clubs, Progress Associations
premises, community
halls built on Crown Land but under Council control, remain assets of those
organisations and villages.
12.2.7 Council will, if possible in conjunction with state and federal authorities such as My
Aged Care and Centrelink, undertake a survey of costs of living and needs
experienced by aged pensioners living in Council’s area including those from rural
locations.

12.2.8 Council will commission, in concert with University of Newcastle, a report on aged
care housing needs (Aged Care Housing: Public and Private Provision) which will:

12.2.8.1. identify the full range of housing accessible by the aging, both public and
private … along with deficiencies in provision.
12.2.8.2. he contractual basis for each of these types of housing with emphasis on
the rights of the aging residents … along with deficiencies or dishonest or
unjustly tricky loopholes in these contracts inconsistent with pensioners’
expectations.
12.2.8.3. recommend changes to NSW legislation, regulation, or inspection
behaviours.

12.2.9 Council will appoint a Pensioners’ Advocate with three objectives:
12.2.9.1. To consult with local pensioners, ACOSS and Australian pensioner
organisations using, Pensioner Forums over a weekend at least twice/year, open to
all Central Coast pensioners …to help Council identify problem areas, problem
events, problem rules and regulations, problem organisations and to prioritise
actions and campaigning.
12.2.9.2. To service a Pensioners’ Advisory Committee comprising a senior Council
Officer, two Councillors and representatives of pensioners with the responsibility of
prioritising matters to be brought before the Council for determination.

12.3. NSW Government:

12.3.1. Council will make representations to the NSW Government, informed by the
recommendations from Aged Care Housing: Public and Private Provision on the
Central Coast.
12.3.2. Council to make representations to the NSW Government to provide free tuition at
local TAFE or community colleges for internet/social media skills for pensioners.

12.3.3 Council will persistently explain to the NSW Government the community’s strong
desire to:
(i) retain public hospitals, schools, reserves and facilities accessible to
pensioners.
(ii) retain motor vehicle registration concessions
(iii) maintain subsidies for gas and electricity consumption
(iv) continue Public Transport Concessions such as Opal Gold Card for Rail,
buses and Ferries.
(v) provide more social housing directed to meet pensioner needs on the
Central Coast. A waiting time of 15 years is quite unacceptable.
(vi) amend regulations affecting private retirement villages, nursing homes
and hostels to ensure availability of Registered Nurses to support the
health needs of pensioners and aged residents.
12.3.4 Council will lobby NSW Government to provide more services to combat elder abuse
and neglect.
12.3.5 Council will seek NSW Government support to ask the Law Reform Commission to
be tasked to investigate simplification of Power of Attorney and Enduring
Guardianship provisions to allow for more realistic treatment of dementia sufferers
within the community.

12.4. Federal Government:
12.4.1. ADF veterans: Council will make representations to, negotiate with, and campaign
for a Department of Veteran Affairs Office to be opened at Gosford and to be
staffed, at least in good part, with ex-ADF field personnel.

12.4.2. On-line government services: such as Centrelink. Council to seek human assistance
for pensioners who are now required to access online services and financial
assistance.

12.4.3 Council to make persistent representations to, and campaign for the aged pension
to be set at $440 per week, 10% above the poverty line with all other pensions
adjusted accordingly, and for a longer term plan for the progressive increase of
pensions to 30% above the poverty line by 2030.
Council needs to support Pensioners in lobbying the Federal Government to retain
the Aged Pension for persons with limited assets and superannuation support. It
should continue to be indexed to average weekly earnings.

12.4.4 Council will support continuation of the Rent Assistance Supplement for pensioners
in the private rental market. This should be indexed to cover the lowest quartile of
rental housing costs on a suburb by suburb basis.

12.4.5 Council will lobby the Federal Government to increase reimbursements to doctors for
consultation fees to ensure the continuation of bulk billing under Medicare.

12.4.6 Council will support continuation of PBS and Pensioner health card concessions.

12.4.7 Council will support Federal Government assistance to guarantee affordable access
for pensioners to aged care facilities.



No comments are available, as further direct community engagement will be available in the form of a special purpose “wiki” using the open source “Wikimedia” software which is used to power WikiPedia, to be launched shortly after the election at Central Coast Wiki for registration of interested residents to participate.