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Local Government and Ageing in different environments

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  1. Local Government and Ageing in different environments Presentation to International Federation on Ageing Conference Prague May 2012 Margaret Kay Senior Policy Officer, Ageing and Disability Dr Peter Phibbs, Dr Elizabeth O’Brien University of Western Sydney

  2. Outline Climate and Local Government • Local Government and Ageing project • Older people on the move • Effects of extreme climates on older people & Council responses: • Sea level rises • Flash flood • Bush fire • Heat wave • Drought

  3. 1. Local Government and Ageing project

  4. Local Government and Ageing Project • Funded by Ageing, Disability and Home Care, NSW Government 2010 • Partner with Local Government and Shires Associations NSW • 11 rural councils • 9 metropolitan councils

  5. What NSW councils do NSW: • 152 councils • Ranging in size from 5 km2 to 53,000 km2 • Populations from 1,400 to 284,000 Council is: • Service provider • Planner, regulator • Manager of built and natural environment • Community advocate

  6. Project aims • social and economic contribution of older people • identify the magnitude of costs for Local Government of an ageing population • financial impact • range of council services affected • potential impacts on council’s revenue raising capacity

  7. Findings Value of older people as community members Councils are expected to provide: • Community transport • Footpaths, paths for mobility scooters • Bus shelters (weather protection) • Services nearby • Facilities for visiting populations

  8. Climate, councils and ageing • Good climate = • Older people as travellers • Grey nomads need infrastructure • Retirement lifestyles - sea/tree change • Extreme climate = • Older People’s care in extremes • Engineering solutions compete with age friendliness

  9. 2. Older people on the move

  10. Climate for lifestyle andtourism – NSW north coast

  11. Grey nomads

  12. Casino RV village NSW

  13. Sea and tree change LIFESTYLE CHOICES • Sea change = move to coast • Tree change = move to countryside

  14. Pressures on councils • Population ages • Pressures on council services: • garbage collection • community transport • community care • cemeteries

  15. 3. Effects of extreme climates on older people & council responses

  16. My Country ..I love a sunburnt country,A land of sweeping plains,Of ragged mountain ranges,Of droughts and flooding rains.I love her far horizons,I love her jewel-sea,Her beauty and her terror -The wide brown land for me!Dorothea Mackellar(1885 - 1968)

  17. Challenge for councils In NSW, councils deal with a range of events: • Sea level rises • Flash flood • Bush fire • Heat wave • Drought

  18. Council responses • Planning and building controls • Engineering and road works • Council facilities • Health support • Social support

  19. Sea level rises

  20. Rising sea level • 85% Australians live near coast

  21. 60,000 homes in NSW affected by 1.1 m sea level rise = $18.7 billion • (Climate Commission 2011)

  22. Coastal erosion

  23. Council response – coastal management policy • Sea walls, groynes, sand pumping • Planned retreat policies • Planning certificate notifications • Coastal management fee • Council may be liable for future damages

  24. Sea level rise issues for older people • Right to protect individual property • Housing Security • Fees? • Insurance premiums • Modifications? • Caravan park dwellers

  25. Flash flood

  26. Flash flood Broken Hill • 10 mm in 2 hours • Winds 70 km/hr • Hail • Lightning • Power cuts in 6,000 homes

  27. Flash flood Broken Hill

  28. Council response – levee bank

  29. High kerbs

  30. Flood issues for older people • Health • Mosquitoes • Water quality • Sewerage overflow • Mould – asthma • Pedestrian access difficult with high kerbs • Isolation • food services • care

  31. Canterbury, NSW Meals On Wheels Services- meals on wheels • Oats afloat? • Toast in a boat • Tea at sea?

  32. Bushfire

  33. Bushfire • Increase in very high fire danger days • 2002, 100+ homes destroyed (Joint Select Committee on Bushfires 2002)

  34. Dean Street in Long Gully, west of Bendigo Wikipedia Ku-ring-gai Council

  35. Ku-ring-gai Council Rural Fire Service NSW Council response – safer places

  36. Bushfire issues for older people • Residential aged care – edges of towns • Isolation • Dangerous behaviours – gutters • Breathing difficulties

  37. Heat wave

  38. Council responses - plans • Warnings • Local government heatwave plan • Information on health risks and prevention • Safe public places that are air conditioned such as libraries, movie theatres, council buildings

  39. Heat wave issues for older people • Power failure • Heat stroke • Affect on medications and life equipment • Dehydration – toilet stops • Living alone or homeless • Death

  40. Lake Macquarie Council, NSW Health Victoria

  41. www.popbitch .com Stay cool

  42. Drought

  43. CSIRO BOM 2008 Drought Exceptional circumstances Drought • 1997 – 2009 • 2003 worst • on record

  44. Council response - water • Trucking in water in some rural areas • Water saving rules • Emergency pipeline • Social supports for isolated farmers - outreach

  45. Drought issues for older people • Rural population is ageing at a faster rate • Exhaustion • Selling farms processes complicated • Hospitalisations due to stress • Social isolation of aged farmers • Water restrictions • Water quality

  46. Council and climate for older people • Respond to locals and tourists • Infrastructure • Information • Support and capacity building in climatic extremes Report: http://www.adhc.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/file/0005/250826/20_OBrien_and_Phibbs_2011_Local_Govt_Ageing.pdf