COTA SA scores the parties for Election Day

Media Release 13th March 2018

COTA SA, the peak advocacy body for older people in South Australia, has released its scorecard of the Parties vying for representation in Saturday's State Election.

COTA SA Chief Executive, Jane Mussared, welcomed the support all parties gave for improving the legislative protections and services available for people experiencing elder abuse.

"We can rightly have high expectations that elder protection will be an immediate priority regardless of the flavour or make up of our next government. There is bi-partisan support and a shared sense of urgency to act to stop elder abuse," Ms Mussared said.

Ms Mussared is cautiously optimistic that a new government will begin to address mature employment with all parties supporting COTA SA's proposals in principle.

"While we were very pleased to see Labor commit to a 3-year trial of mid-career checks, all parties recognised the need to address the very real risks for older workers," said Ms Mussared.

Ms Mussared said that there has been a patchy response to the need to make health services work better for older people, including those in rural areas.

"New commitments of funding for palliative care, new hospital services and improving support was an area where the Liberal Party scored better than both Labor and SA Best but there is substantial work still to be done in understanding the extent of the challenge and the opportunity to deliver better for older people in health. Older people will need to play a much greater part in the design of future health services."

Ms Mussared would like to see much more done to support older people in housing stress and at risk of homelessness.

"Whoever wins government will not have the luxury of deliberating about this. The evidence is that almost 5000 people aged over 65 are at immediate risk and this number grows every day. We welcome SA Best's support (along with the Greens and Dignity) for the housing strategies proposed by COTA SA."

Ms Mussared paid tribute to the Greens and to Dignity for their strong support of the COTA SA platform, saying that they had reinforced their credentials as parties that protect inclusion and fairness for older people.

Comprehensive responses were received from six parties seeking seats in the new parliament and green, amber or red ratings were allocated to their responses.

"Parties got a green light when they committed to COTA SA's policy solution or when we could see that their proposal would fix the problem in another way. We used an amber light when a party's response mostly aligned with COTA SA's solution but the response lacked detail. However, where the party did not address the problem identified by older people, we responded with a red light," said Ms Mussared.

The ratings were based on COTA SA's 2018 State Election Platform released on 6 February, which outlined nine problem areas for older South Australians - health, housing, transport, digital inclusion, employment, diversity, cost of living, elder protection and ageism - along with 25 proposals to fix them. The Platform is a blueprint of priorities for older people compiled from conversations and surveys undertaken all over South Australia in 2017.

"More than 633,000 South Australians are aged over 50, and they will make up more than half of the voters this election - their voices need to be heard and, as a State, we need to do more to ensure that older people can continue to be active members of the communities they love and live in," said Ms Mussared.

COTA SA's 2018 Election Platform Scorecard, which evaluates all 25 recommendations, can be accessed here: https://www.cotasa.org.au/policy/elections/2018/election-scorecard.aspx

COTA SA is an older people's movement run by, for and with older people. COTA SA represents the aspirations, interests and rights of 633,000 older South Australians.

Further information about COTA SA can be found at www.cotasa.org.au.

For all interview requests please contact:

Silvia Knoppien - sknoppien@communikate.net.au | 0467 043 173
Bec Tape - rtape@communikate.net.au | 0438 806 983

Download a copy of the media release