Regular readers of AgeWave Australia will recall that our budget wishlist for 2011 included an increase to the Age Pension, rebates on dental treatment for the disadvantaged and an increase in the allowance for energy bills. To no one’s great surprise, none of the above was delivered. But there was a positive announcement – something that was long overdue and will make, over time, a great difference to the lives of older Australians. That was the confirmation of funding for a dedicated Commissioner for Age Discrimination.
The 2011 Federal Budget provides funding for the establishment of an Age Discrimination Commissioner and support team. The new commissioner will take office from 1 July 2011, replacing the current arrangement whereby the Sex Discrimination Commissioner has also been responsible for age discrimination issues. The intention is to provide a ‘more explicit focus’ on the issue of age discrimination.