The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

18 April 2012

Government responds to the Final Report of the Advisory Panel on the Economic Potential of Senior Australians

Joint media release with
The Hon Mark Butler MP
Minister for Mental Health and Ageing,
Minister for Social Inclusion

The Government today is pleased to announce its initial response to the Final Report of the Advisory Panel on the Economic Potential of Senior Australians (EPSA).

The Government's response to the EPSA Report includes $10 million for new Jobs Bonuses to help tackle age discrimination and encourage businesses to employ older Australian who want to stay in the workforce.

The Government commissioned the EPSA report because we understand that the ageing of our population brings great opportunities for our country and our economy if we better harness the skills and experience of older Australians.

The EPSA report - also entitled "Turning Grey into Gold" - found that as a community we need to provide greater choices to older Australians as to how they spend their golden years, and better opportunities to stay engaged with the workforce and the broader community.

The Government's response includes a way forward on all recommendations and includes a package of new initiatives that builds on the Government's comprehensive agenda on ageing.

These initiatives include:

  • $10m for a new $1000 Jobs Bonus for employers who recruit and retain a mature age job seeker for more than 3 months.
  • $15.6m to extend the very successful Corporate Champions program to provide support to employers who wish to promote mature aged employment at their workplace.
  • $3.9m to extend the Career Advice service by two years to ensure mature age people have access to free, professional career advice.
  • $4.8m to promote lifelong learning by expanding education opportunities by adult and community education providers and community organisations to older Australians.
  • Expanding the More Help for Mature Age Workers initiative, to now be called the "Investing in Experience - Skills Recognition and Training program, to allow industries to benefit from improving the skills of their over 50's workforces.

To ensure that older Australians remain central to the government's policy development, an expanded Advisory Panel on Positive Ageing will be established on an ongoing basis. It will play a key role in helping to drive the Government's ageing agenda.

Age Discrimination and stereotyping of older people, whether deliberate or unintentional, acts as a significant barrier to senior Australians realising their potential. To address this issue the Government is:

  • Providing $2.1 million over four years to the Age Discrimination Commissioner to address age discrimination, age stereotyping and ageism more generally, to feed into a media roundtable and communication strategy;
  • Reviewing Commonwealth legislation to identify age barriers that prevent continued participation in the workforce for people aged 45 years and over; and
  • Working to consolidate the five anti-discrimination Acts, including the Age Discrimination Act 2004, into a single law as part of Australia's Human Rights Framework.

The Government's response also includes:

  • a review of existing laws to ensure adequate protection to volunteers from civil liability. For many people, retirement gives opportunity to give back to the community by volunteering and any barriers to these opportunities should be avoided.
  • working with the insurance industry to explore ways to address issues with accessing adequate travel insurance by those in their golden years wanting to travel.

The Government extends its sincere thanks to the invaluable work of the EPSA Advisory Panel - Mr Everald Compton AM who will continue as Chair of the expanded Advisory Panel, along with Professor Gill Lewin and Professor Brian Howe AO.

The Panel met with many experts, peak representative bodies, businesses, academics, public office holders and individuals in its consultations across Australia.

Please see the attached document for more information [PDF 777KB].