The conversations of life

States failing to plan for ‘silver tsunami’ of retirees, new report card says


Australia is falling short on supplying suitable housing options for our nearly four million over-65’s, according to the Property Council’s latest Retirement Living Planning Report Card.

Top-ranked South Australia scored just 52.8 out of 100, largely thanks to a policy that sees developments over $10 million professionally assessed.

New South Wales came second on 50.9 as the only state that legislates a state planning policy for retirement villages, while Tasmania was the lowest ranked – only 36.5 – for failing to mention seniors in its local planning schemes despite having the largest proportion of residents aged over 65.

Building in our own backyard

The Property Council wants states and local governments to reform their planning schemes to make sure there is land available for seniors’ housing like retirement villages and lifestyle communities.

A much-needed initiative – but we also need to change our mindset around these developments.

Both South Australia and Brisbane have introduced incentives to promote seniors’ housing in recent years – both have been forced to back down in some part on these schemes because of community and resident opposition.

But with the number of older Australians set to more than double in the next 40 years, if we don’t build these developments in our own backyard, then where?

Lauren is a journalist for, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

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