The Federal Treasurer has been right to highlight the policy and fiscal challenges ahead for Australia from an ageing population.
Our population is ageing and living longer. Our life expectancy is now the sixth-highest in the world. But senior Australians are also relying on a shrinking proportion of working age Australians generating tax revenue to fund the health, aged care and retirement income support they require.
The recent interim report of the Aged Care Royal Commission has so sharply highlighted the challenges of funding and delivering high quality care for older Australians and these challenges will only get bigger in the years ahead.
Our retirement living industry will play an absolutely critical role in meeting the housing needs for older Australians as we work through this major social and economic transition.
The retirement living sector already provides safe, affordable and quality housing for more than 180,000 older Australians. It does this without any form of government funding. And it delivers a service that retirement village residents are overwhelmingly happy with.
The Retirement Living Council – the Property Council’s leadership forum for this sector – has been focused on improving quality and standards for residents in villages across the country.
A new Australian Retirement Village Accreditation Scheme has recently been launched following extensive consultation with residents and industry.
Later this week, the industry will also be officially invited to commit to the new Retirement Living Code of Conduct, to be launched in front of more than 450 delegates at the National Retirement Living Summit on the Gold Coast, capping off two years of work.
It’s another demonstration of how our industry is taking the lead by thinking and planning ahead to meet the needs of our ever-growing and changing Australian community.