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SA Budget fails to deliver for older workers

COTA SA has welcomed the State Government's investment in job creation but is disappointed that the Budget has failed to deliver targeted measures that will tackle age discrimination and help South Australians secure adequate employment in their 50s and 60s.

COTA SA chief executive Jane Mussared says widespread age discrimination was
leading to long-term unemployment and under-employment and robbing many older
South Australians of the opportunity to create even the most basic financial and
housing security for their later years.

“Unless we tackle ageism in the workforce, even the best job creation strategies will
fail to translate into jobs for older workers,” she says.

“This is a major oversight in a Budget built around jobs. Access to employment is
fundamental to a healthy community and to a state that wants to be known as a
place where its citizens age well.”

While there wasn’t much for older South Australians in the Budget, Ms Mussared
applauded the Government’s recognition of the need to explore affordable housing
options for older women.

“While no new funding has been committed to this problem, the need for secure and
low-cost housing for older women is now on the table and we look forward to working
with the Government to ensuring this becomes a funded focus in future,” she says.

“There is a drastic undersupply of affordable private and public accommodation that
is leaving many older people – especially women - in an increasingly precarious
housing situation.”

COTA SA also applauded the Budget’s investment in infrastructure in regional
communities, including Whyalla. However, Ms Mussared says that more needs to be
done to ensure that older people are part of planning for the future of our regional
communities.

“Regional and rural SA has an older age profile than Adelaide. Older people are
deeply invested in their regions but often there are not effective structures for them to
be part of the strategies that will shape their future and that of their communities.”

In its submission to the State Government, released in January, COTA SA made 18
recommendations to improve the health, housing and employment options available
to the state’s older population.

The submission can be found here.

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