Baillieu Cuts Threaten Seniors’ Strength Programs
The Baillieu Government has again refused to guarantee ongoing funding for the Living Longer Living Stronger seniors’ program, Shadow Minister for Seniors and Ageing Jenny Mikakos said.
Ms Mikakos and Member for Richmond Richard Wynne visited the Richmond Recreation Centre today to discuss the Living Stronger Living Longer funding cut.
“Participants in Richmond have clearly made the case for the Baillieu Government to reinstate the funding as the program supports them maintain a healthy quality of life,’ Ms Mikakos said.
“In Parliament, Health and Ageing Minister David Davis refused to restore state funding for the successful strength and conditioning program for seniors.
“Funding for Living Longer Living Stronger lapsed in July this year, after the Baillieu Government failed to allocate money to the program in its May Budget.”
Ms Mikakos said this was the second time Mr Davis had refused to say he would restore funding for Living Longer Living Stronger program, letting down the 17,000 senior Victorians that benefit from the program.
“When I asked the Minister to reinstate the funding, Mr Davis refused to say he would despite saying the program had done ‘a lot of good work’,” she said.
“In fact the popular program has been proven to help fight arthritis, osteoporosis and other chronic diseases, as well as keeping seniors active and connected to their community.
“It also helps maintain mental and psychological wellbeing and can be used to fight depression.
“These benefits are why the Baillieu Government should reinstate funding for this important program and stand up for the health and wellbeing of older Victorians.”
Mr Wynne said the Council of the Ageing (COTA), which administered the program across Victoria, had continued to run the program with its own limited resources.
“COTA understand the positive impact Living Longer Living Stronger has on older Victorians, which is why they are striving to keep it running, but this is only a stop-gap measure,” Mr Wynne said.
“Unless Mr Davis addresses this issue immediately, 17,000 older Victorians will soon struggle to access strength and conditioning programs in Victoria.”