‘The challenge is urgent’

The Prime Minister must have a dedicated Minister for Ageing to coordinate the ageing element of every ministry, as well as the responses of state and local governments and commerce, industry and community organisations, writes Everald Compton.

The Prime Minister must have a dedicated Minister for Ageing to coordinate the ageing element of every ministry, as well as the responses of state and local governments and commerce, industry and community organisations, writes Everald Compton. 

In every nation, people are living longer than ever before.

By 2050, there will be 50,000 Australians who have reached their century and 5,000 of them will live on to 110. The largest segment of our population will be in the age group of 85 to 100.

Significant economic and social implications will arise, except for those nations which plan now to turn ageing into an asset, instead of watching it grow steadily into a huge liability.

The eminent think tank, Per Capita, is taking action. It has formed a Longevity Forum to take the ideas set out in the Blueprint for an Ageing Australia, launched at the National Press Club in September, and turn them into policy. The Forum will give life to the central idea of the Blueprint for an Ageing Australia: we can build a prosperous future based on policy reforms now.

I am delighted to accept their invitation to chair the Forum and I am in the process of enlisting colleagues and partners.

The Forum will be a fulcrum of applied policy work on ageing and longevity in Australia, bringing together the best ideas from business, government and the not-for-profit sectors. I look forward to working with leaders in each of these sectors.

The Forum’s long range plan for reform of the economy will covers the entire scope of ageing – health, housing, transport, pensions, superannuation, technology, mature age employment, wellbeing, recreation, lifelong learning, philanthropy, volunteering, senior entrepreneurs and much else.

The ageing market will be very lucrative for retailers when they get smart and start selling age- friendly goods. At the same time, we have enormous capacity to export age care services

Seniors can become entrepreneurial investors in small businesses, particularly those involving intergenerational partnerships. They will also embrace philanthropy on a scale never before imagined, thus making their money work for Australia long after they have departed the scene. Technology will assist older people to care for themselves at home rather than in institutions.

We will have no choice but to abandon the traditional economy and embrace a creative economy which will fundamentally change the way in which the nation lives and moves and has its being. Old fashioned capitalism will die. Innovators will replace plunderers and the complacent who look backwards will go broke. The ageing world will be vibrant with opportunities for visionaries who master the massive changes that will cause the grey world to become the new world.

The challenge is so urgent that the Prime Minister must take personal responsibility for our Ageing strategy. The Prime Minister’s Office must have a dedicated Minister for Ageing to coordinate the ageing element of every ministry, as well as the responses of state and local governments and commerce, industry and community organisations.

Our meetings with governments have commenced and will continue for the long haul. We have not a moment to lose. Time does not tarry for the slow.
I invite you to join us.

Everald Compton is chair of the Longevity Forum and chair of the Advisory Panel on Positive Ageing that produced the Blueprint for an Ageing Australia.

Tags: blueprint for an ageing australia, everald-compton, per capita,

1 thought on “‘The challenge is urgent’

  1. Congratulations to all involved in delivering this Blueprint for the sake of not only elderly Australians, but those of us still to come. A very special thanks also to the companies, philanthropists, and others who provided the funding to get the job done!

    Everald Comptom! Australian of the year 2015!

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