HomePodcastWho is listening to older Australians? National Seniors Australia is

Who is listening to older Australians? National Seniors Australia is

National Seniors Australia (NSA) is an advocacy group dedicated to furthering the interests of older Australians. On the podcast this week, host John Deeks spoke with CEO Chris Grice about the biggest issues facing seniors and the group’s ongoing lobbying work.

NSA is a not-for-profit resource for older Australians that offers a range of services including financial planning and advice, help with credit cards and banking as well as travel bookings.

But one of NSA’s chief roles is to advocate and lobby the government on behalf of Australia’s seniors, making sure their interests are taken into consideration at the highest level.

Joining host John Deeks on the YourLifeChoices podcast this week was Chris Grice, the (relatively) new CEO of NSA. Mr Grice started in the role in December 2023, after almost 11 years with the advocacy group, most recently serving as chief operating officer.

Making Canberra listen

Mr Grice says that with another federal election coming up next year, both sides of government are seeking the so-called ‘grey vote’. But what are the main issues NSA wants addressed in Canberra?

“I guess the one [issue] in particular that is near and dear to this organisation is aged care. And post-poyal commission, which was about four years ago, continues to be something that is incredibly important,” he says.

“Lots of recommendations, I think there are about 148 in all, that came out of the royal commission.

So far, only nine of the 148 recommendations have been implemented. These include a requirement for an aged care nurse to be onsite at facilities 24/7 and a new code of conduct for aged care workers.

“Now it’s just making sure that the government sees this through from the point of view of its implementation into making the lives of older Australians much better, and providing them the care that they obviously deserve.”

But we’ve all heard politicians of both persuasions say what people want to hear, commission yet another study or report, and then we never hear about the issue again. People get tired of all the talk, but no action.

“[That’s] a very reasonable comment,” says Mr Grice.

“They’re very reasonable observations. We’ve seen this in terms of the cost-of-living pressures. The number of inquiries that were occurring at both the state and federal levels – we need an inquiry into fuel prices, we need an inquiry into grocery prices and so on.

“There were a number of those that were commissioned. You can quite obviously see on the ground where some of these issues are, you don’t necessarily need another inquiry to tease out what the problems are.

“It’s about meaningful solutions that are going to possibly have an impact on folks out there.”

End of cash bad for older Aussies

Another issue NSA is keen to highlight to politicians is the general shift towards a cashless society and all-digital payment methods.

“There’s a cash issue, but also it’s about payment systems in general,” Mr Grice says.

The government announced that it was going to drop cheques completely by 2030. “There’s less cash being used across the community, people using tap and go, and all that sort of stuff.

“Senior Australians are disproportionately affected, they may not necessarily have the capacity to be able to afford a smartphone, or maintain a smartphone, or that they’re not actually tech savvy, and they have a fear of online scams and these sorts of things.”

He makes the point that not only are fewer businesses accepting cash, but that gaining access to cash itself is becoming harder, with more and more bank branches closing.

“In the last 18 months about 1000 branches, and ATMs combined, were just removed from access.

“In the last couple of weeks, we saw one of the major banks close 36 branches across four states and the ACT.

“So, there is this sort of removal of people being able to access cash and speak to their banks personally.”

Hopefully, with NSA making the case for older Australians, we may finally see some real solutions to these problems.

What are the issues you’d like to see addressed in Canberra? Is the government doing a good job on behalf of older Australians? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: Older Australians ‘left behind’ by increasingly cashless society

Brad Lockyer
Brad Lockyerhttps://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/author/bradlockyer/
Brad has deep knowledge of retirement income, including Age Pension and other government entitlements, as well as health, money and lifestyle issues facing older Australians. Keen interests in current affairs, politics, sport and entertainment. Digital media professional with more than 10 years experience in the industry.


  1. Is everybody stupid or something if we do go cashless it mwill be so easy to screw the country up, just look at Queensland during the floods there was one town brought to a standstill because the electronics were wiped out, all the is needed to stop a country is one large Electromagnetic Bomb and all electronics are burnt out, country completely stuffed.

  2. I want to know why people who were at retirement age or older and still working why they have to pay tax or at least not getting a huge tax cut.
    They are not a burden on the system and still they pay the same tax as a person that should be paying tax. Yes! We elect to work I know but give a 65 and older a break. They have paid tax all their lives and deserve a break from paying for people who don’t want to work. It’s about time the pollies wake up!!!!

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