News National Older Australians rate climate change a major worry: poll

Older Australians rate climate change a major worry: poll

Seniors take time from their own concerns to fear for the fate of the planet. Photo: Getty
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It’s not just young voters who want action on climate change. A new poll shows over half of older Australians want a greater focus on the environment from the major political parties.

With just a week to run to the May 18 election a survey of 3000 older Australians for COTA Australia, formerly known as Council on the Ageing, found 53 per cent of respondents identified climate change as a top national issues in deciding how they will vote.

That compares with just 28 per cent in the 2016 survey, the last time the country went to the polls.

Topping the election issues survey conducted by Essential Research, two-thirds of respondents cited access to good quality aged care – up from 57 per cent at the last election – access to quality primary health services also scored 66 per cent, followed by access to adequate age pensions (61 per cent).

“We are bitterly disappointed and disturbed that neither major party has announced a plan to tackle the home-care waiting list,” COTA chief executive Ian Yates said when releasing the poll results on Sunday.

“It is not too late for the major parties to step up and show they have been listening to the needs of all Australians, including older Australians.”

He said there are more than 125,000 older Australians waiting to receive adequate care at home, thousands of whom die waiting, and the whole aged care system in danger of falling over as a result.

“It’s inexplicable that both the Coalition and Labor are saying to older Australians that among the billions of dollars promised or saved they cannot find $2 billion a year to make sure frail older Australian assessed by government as in need, get care within three months.”

Mr Yates welcomed Labor’s pensioner dental scheme, saying it will make a huge difference to hundreds of thousands of older Australians and puts dental into Medicare for the first time.

“We also welcome action on cancer care,” he said, another focus of Labor in its campaign.