Claremont calls for more seniors, mental health support

L-R Janine Lindsay-Macfadyen, Lynnette Beekwilder-Reid, Jenene Kibblewhite, Mayor Jock Barker and Mary May. Ladies from Claremont Mah Jong Group. Election story seniors issues. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au   d492513
L-R Janine Lindsay-Macfadyen, Lynnette Beekwilder-Reid, Jenene Kibblewhite, Mayor Jock Barker and Mary May. Ladies from Claremont Mah Jong Group. Election story seniors issues. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d492513

CLAREMONT Mayor Jock Barker wants the new Curtin MHR to get greater support for seniors and mental health in the electorate after the Federal Election on May 18.

“As a local government area with a higher than average population of people over 65, I would like to see more support for seniors and people living with a disability through improved funding and recognition of the important services and facilities required to meet the needs of this significant section of our community,” Mr Barker said.

The 138,659-resident electorate from Mosman Park to Innaloo has 22,132 people aged over 65 and another 34,419 reaching retirement age in 15 years.

Mr Barker said the new MHR would have to address that ageing population, their services, mental health, employment and long-term economic viability.

Liberal candidate Celia Hammond said she would advocate funding for all levels of government and Labor’s proposed changes to refunding excess franking credits, which helps fund many retirements, would affect the 84 per cent of people who get the credits who are on annual incomes below $37,000.

For those increasingly living past their superannuation, Ms Hammond said there should be no new taxes on it and a new Liberal government would allow contributions up to $300,000 for over- 65s who downsize their homes.

Independent Louise Stewart said small councils needed help to establish enterprises that provided senior services, the rules for refunding excess franking credits should not be changed, superannuation should not be used as revenue source by government and there should be a freeze on changing its rules controlling people could plan their futures.

Greens candidate Cameron Pidgeon said his party proposed 50,000 more level 3 and 4 Home Care packages, $3 billion for more hours of care and increasing carers’ pay.

Mr Pidgeon said the party backed franking credit changes but it would scrutinise any alterations in the Senate for “unintended consequences”.