Older People


The Australian Greens believe that:

  1. Older people have the same rights as all other adults to participate in social, economic and political aspects of life and to maintain control over their independence.
  2. The skills and life experience of older people benefit the whole community, including in the paid workforce and the economy.
  3. All older Australians are entitled to a guaranteed liveable income.
  4. The federal government must play a central role in the funding, regulation and support of high quality aged care services.
  5. Aged care should be provided on a not-for-profit basis.
  6. Older people, their carers and their families must have the right to choose from a range of appropriate, affordable and diverse care services designed in accordance with a human rights based approach that maintains and promotes dignity, independence and quality of life.
  7. Older people have the right to make informed decisions about their care, to develop advance care plans, and in the event of significant cognitive decline, an older person’s history, needs and advanced care plans must be considered when providing aged care services.
  8. Access to high quality, appropriate health and aged care services and housing should be on the basis of need and not the ability to pay or where people live.
  9. A lifelong approach to healthy ageing should form the basis of all government policy, incorporating principles that focus on wellness, functional ability, security, availability and accessibility of effective services, age-friendly environments and active participation in all aspects of community life.
  10. An age-friendly planning approach to transport and services in all environments that ensures structures and services are accessible and inclusive of older people. 
  11. Australia’s diverse community calls for a range of ways to support older people to age in line with their beliefs, culture, language, sexuality, gender identity and their chosen support network.
  12. Older people have a right to access information and services in their own language and through interpreter services.
  13. Older people should be able to access health and aged care services as soon as they need it.
  14. Australia’s aged care system should be underpinned by transparency and accountability.
  15. Older people who have ageing-related disabilities must have their human rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognised.


The Australian Greens want:

  1. The federal government to introduce effective mechanisms to address systemic age discrimination, including a public awareness and education campaign to tackle ageism.
  2. An unconditional, guaranteed liveable income for all older people.
  3. A range of affordable, appropriate and secure accommodation options, including public and social housing, to be available for older people  in accordance with rights based principles, including those in rural, regional and remote Australia and for those renting.
  4. Access to culturally appropriate social and community housing that enables First Nations peoples to grow old with dignity in their own communities/place.
  5. First Nations specific aged care facilities that are culturally inclusive and operated by First Nations organisations.
  6. A government led workplace education and information campaign challenging myths, stereotypes and negative attitudes about older workers, campaign materials to be available in community languages.
  7. Measures to address the social and economic disadvantage experienced by older women, including increased risks of housing insecurity and homelessness.
  8. A high-quality, affordable, aged care system characterised by quality support, nursing and personal care whether in own home, residential care or hospital, that is provided on a not-for-profit basis.
  9. Establishment of independent accountability mechanisms to monitor aged care services and establish mandatory response timelines.
  10. Fair and reasonable arrangements for aged care accommodation charges.
  11. Fair and reasonable access to high-quality aged care services for those on low income.
  12. Inclusive aged care services that are designed to meet the diverse needs of communities.
  13. Accessible and culturally responsive support programs that assist isolated older people to connect with their communities.
  14. Fully-funded and appropriate support services for older people who choose to remain in their own homes, including community care programs and home modification.
  15. Adequate and timely support for carers of older people, including respite services, access to information, income support and tax benefits.
  16. Improvements in workforce conditions for aged care workers, supported by staffing ratios, improved award wages and conditions, and access to training.
  17. The needs of older people included in urban planning and design, ranging from universal design standards for adaptable housing to accessible transport and community facilities.
  18. The expansion of community based education for older people and improved mechanisms that support older workers to take up skilling and educational opportunities.
  19. A government led workplace education and information campaign challenging myths, stereotypes and negative attitudes about older workers, with campaign materials to be available in community languages
  20. Improved employment outcomes for older Australians, through:
    • flexible work arrangements
    • skills development;
    • development and implementation of older worker employment strategies;
    • embedding of age diversity within workforces; and
    • modelling best practice on attracting, developing, and retaining older workers.
  21. State and territory governments to amend workers' compensation regimes, including incapacity payments, to ensure older workers are not disadvantaged.
  22. Availability and affordability of insurance for older Australians, including insurance for volunteers and travel insurance, free from aged-based discrimination.
  23. Implementation of current best practice from leading research to minimise impacts of dementia on people, their families and communities. 
  24. Well-publicised accessible programs to assist older people in making financial and legal plans including wills and advanced care directives, that are available in community languages. 
  25. A focus on early intervention and preventive health to help older people maintain their mobility, well-being and participation, and reduce demand for health services.
  26. Measures to prevent, respond to and end all forms of elder abuse.
  27. Provision within the aged care system to access services for older people who need urgent support. 
  28. Introduction of national regulation of the retirement villages sector to ensure residents of retirement villages have the same rights as other strata title holders.
  29. Support all older First Nations people who wish to return to live and end their life in their country, including facilitating their return for burial in their country when that is their wish.
  30. The elimination of physical and chemical restraints in aged care settings, including residential care and home care.
  31. No age limits to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
  32. Australia to lead in the creation of a UN convention on the Rights of Older Persons.

[Policy endorsed: November 2021]