Calls grow for the Federal Government to improve ‘fundamental services’ for older Australians

Aug 28, 2023
The latest Intergenerational Report reveals that by 2063, one out of every five Australians will be older adults. Source: Getty Images.

The Federal Government is being urged to use the recently released Intergenerational Report as motivation to take action to improve “fundamental services” for older Australians.

Projecting all the way to 2062-63, the 2023 Intergenerational Report offers insights into Australia’s economy and the government’s budget. This marks the sixth edition of such a report, which aims to help the government plan for the next 40 years by understanding what will boost our nation’s economy.

The report focuses on five major factors that will shape the future:

  1. Population ageing
  2. Technological and digital transformation
  3. Climate change and the net zero transformation
  4. Rising demand for care and support services
  5. Geopolitical risk and fragmentation.


The latest Intergenerational Report reveals that by 2063, one out of every five Australians will be older adults. The report also forecasts that the number of older individuals will double, those above 85 will triple, and centenarians will increase sixfold.

As the population grows, there will be added financial strain due to higher expenditures on aged and healthcare services.

To address this, the care and support workforce will need to double in size in order to meet the rising needs of an ageing Australia.

While Treasurer Jim Chalmers sees these changes as an opportunity for the care sector rather than a sign of an aging economy, Patricia Sparrow, the Chief Executive Officer of COTA Australia, emphasises that the intergenerational reports highlights the challenge of designing policies to involve older individuals in supporting the growth and advancement.

“Given the long-term outlook outlined in the Intergenerational Report, a renewed focus on fundamental services and systems such as retirement incomes, health and aged care is crucial,” Sparrow said.

“The Treasurer outlined his government’s commitment to focusing on both the retirement, as well as the accumulation, phase of superannuation which is overdue and welcome.

“COTA Australia has been calling for action to support older people better plan for retirement. Financial literacy and retirement income products are key elements to make sure people are confident to spend more than the legislated minimum draw down and support them to have a dignified retirement.”

Sparrow also stressed the importance of taking action to combat ageism and other obstacles that hinder older individuals from fully realising the valuable contributions they offer to society.

“Older Australians are a resource with valuable experience and expertise that can and should be shared. Without harnessing that we’re robbing every generation,” Sparrow said.

“Older people can and do continue to contribute to the economy. However, ageism keeps older people who want to work out of our workforce.

“We look forward to seeing the Federal Government’s Employment White Paper and how it intends to give older workers choices and chances. Addressing ageism will have to form part of that approach so that older Australians can make the meaningful contribution they want to.”

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