Mayoral Candidate Councillor Debbie Blumel has committed to a new
planning scheme which is seniors-friendly.
The commitment is the cornerstone of Cr Blumel’s Seniors Policy announced today as part of her campaign to become Sunshine Coast Mayor.
“The number of seniors on the Sunshine Coast is growing quickly – and council must act just as quickly to meet their needs – and I will get the job done,” Cr Blumel said.
“Many older people are doing it tough as they try to cope on a limited income with increases in the cost of living. We must help to make life easier for them.”
Councillor Blumel said if she is elected Mayor she will work with seniors and organisations that provide care to develop a planning scheme that suits their needs and choices.
“We must listen to seniors and service providers who actually invest in the development of services. Service providers feel they have not been adequately included in government policy formulation yet they have such great insight into how to plan for a better future.
“We need to work together to ensure that services are both appropriate and available. Consultation with those who do know is essential if we are to meet the escalating need.”
Cr Blumel said that, under her leadership, Sunshine Coast Council would deliver for seniors by:
• Planning for the type of housing and lifestyle that people prefer and choose as they get older
• Providing for an increase in universally designed and adaptable housing and doubling the number of semi-detached and attached dwellings and social housing
• Working with developers to ensure new housing developments provide more seniors-friendly housing
• Designing our communities to be safe and age-friendly with footpaths, shade, benches, parks, community gardens and community events
• Working with the state and federal governments to help seniors live independently by ensuring community services are available and provided where they are needed
• Providing for facilities which can keep couples together with flexible care levels so people don’t have to be separated or leave as their requirements change 2
• Working with the not-for-profit aged care sector to identify land that is suitable for future facilities.
The Sunshine Coast has a higher proportion of people aged 65 years and over compared with the Queensland average.
That figure is set to increase from about 17% currently to 22% by 2026. That’s an increase of more than 40,000 people in that age group.
The current council developed the Positive Ageing Strategy that recognised the desire and choice of the ageing population to live independently.
Cr Blumel said “In the next term of Council, I will work with seniors and the aged care industry to build on this foundation to provide for the right number and types of independent living options and services and communities where they felt safe and valued.
“This will help older people to age well in their local neighbourhoods.”