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Wednesday, 29 April 1987
Page: 2227


Mr GOODLUCK(7.12) —I have just a few words to say before a quarter past seven but I intend to say a lot tomorrow about the problems of the elderly in Australia today. It is very good to see my friend and colleague the honourable member for Cowper (Mr Nehl) in the chamber tonight as he has been very involved with me in an inquiry that we have undertaken to look at the problems of the elderly in Australia. We found that it was very difficult to bring it all together. When we travel the breadth of Australia we find that problems in one location are different from those in another and that governments have tried to address the problems of the elderly but, regrettably, they have only just touched the surface because they do not understand.

I think the word `pragmatic' means practical. I do not think there are enough practical politicians in Australia today who find out the real problems and then bring them back into this Parliament and develop policies that may help. Everywhere we go we hear a lot about the elderly staying in their own homes. Goodness, who will look after the great number of elderly who are in their own homes? We hear the honourable member for Lowe (Mr Maher) talking about people looking after the elderly and so forth, but the Government does not know that thousands of elderly people are living in what could only be called deprivation. They are living alone, they are bitterly disappointed and, regrettably, are just waiting to die. Therefore, governments have to address this problem and I intend to say a lot about it tomorrow.

My colleague and friend the honourable member for Cowper will agree with my sentiments. I think we speak in unison because we are both practical politicians. We do not get involved in the rot of factionalism; we just try to bring down recommendations that will make it good for the elderly people of Australia. There are a lot of socialists in the Government who do a heck of a lot of talking but when they try to bring down recommendations, those recommendations do not mean very much at all. I will continue my speech tomorrow.

Debate interrupted.