Member for Collie-Preston Mick Murray is now in the midst of working out the details of his new portfolio, Seniors and Ageing, with the aim of consolidating the quality of life for what is now the biggest demographic in the state.
Mr Murray picked up the portfolio following Labor’s win in the recent state election in which Mark McGowan became Premier.
He also gained the Volunteering Sport and Recreation.
“Seniors and Ageing is an increasingly important area for government and I am eager to get to work with the relevant departments and stakeholders to gain a greater understanding of the challenges we face and how the McGowan Government may be able to deliver more targeted services,” Mr Murray said.
“Good governments look after their seniors. As Minister for Seniors and Ageing, I will have a strong focus on making sure WA’s older people are looked after well, our services are affordable, and facilities are kept to a high standard.”
Mr Murray said the increasing older population was a particularly modern issue he hoped to tackle through Labor policy.
“Currently one in seven Western Australians is aged over 65. By 2060, this will increase to one in four people, leading to increased health service demand,” he said.
“The McGowan Government will fast track the establishment of much needed additional aged care facilities to improve the quality of life for our seniors.
“There are currently 3,500 Commonwealth aged care bed licences not being utilised in Western Australia. By identifying suitable land and removing existing planning and local government impediments, we will increase the supply of land available to the aged care sector.”
Mr Murray also pushed Mr McGowan’s Medihotel policy, offering respite care following hospital visits to help patients recuperate.
“This approach will improve the treatment experience for many seniors by allowing them to leave hospital faster by moving into a Medihotel before returning home,” he said.
“It is early days, but I am looking forward to gaining a greater understanding of the issues facing our seniors and looking at where the State Government can assist."