|15 February 2019
Following an extensive search to identify a suitable project partner, the West Coast Council has now appointed KPMG to help create the region’s first strategy focused entirely on the challenges and opportunities of an ageing population.
The number of people between the ages of 65 and 94, as a percentage of the overall population of the West Coast, is changing rapidly - with data taken from the last three census periods, showing that significant increases have already taken place in the region.
As the population is ageing significantly changes will be needed to respond to this transformation. All three tiers of Government will need to keep pace with the changing demographics and specifically plan to provide services and infrastructure that are appropriate and therefore meeting the needs of ageing communities.
Extensive public and stakeholder engagement during the creation of the West Coast Community Plan 2025 (WCCP 2025)identified the ageing population in the region as an emerging trend that needed attention.
“We need look no further than our West Coast Community Plan 2025 to see the desire of the community to cater for, and plan for, our ageing population.” Mayor Phil Vickers said. “Developing a comprehensive Strategy that can guide future planning, infrastructure development and service delivery in this area is critical, not only for the Council and the other tiers of government, but also for a range of non-profit and even private sector operators.”
Council will work closely with KPMG and the community in coming months to create a collaborative and comprehensive strategy, by focusing on the following key priorities:
- A comprehensive audit of existing services and programs currently available to West Coast residents, and the corresponding needs of West Coast residents (gap analysis);
- Reference to the large suite of existing strategies and action plans created by the West Coast Council in the last four years, including the WCCP 2025;
- Creation of a ‘Road Map’ of existing services and programs (to be used in raising awareness and providing simple to use information for users);
- Broad and inclusive engagement and consultation with the West Coast community, and other stakeholders (including the state and federal governments);
- A broad focus on ‘liveability’ (with all its associated threads) and even ‘aged friendly communities’, with a keen focus on what the Council can achieve individually, as well as in partnership with other stakeholders;
- An analysis and business case for the inclusion of Council (community) owned housing (currently 34 properties) and how these assets could add value to an integrated aged care framework in the future;
- An analysis and business case for the potential development of the Old Central School site in Queenstown for a multitude of aged care related purposes, with a focus on the potential for private sector and / or state and federal government involvement;
- A clear focus on transport (inter-town and external to the region) as a critical pillar for achieving positive outcomes for the ageing population.
- Identification of some quick wins in relation to immediate actions the West Coast Council can take on its own to improve outcomes for this sector of the community;
- Identification of a full list of detailed short, medium and long-term strategies and objectives, and their associated action plans.
General Manager of the West Coast Council David Midson said:
“This is a significant and timely project for the region, and I encourage all residents and other stakeholders to get involved in the strategy creation process.”