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Tuesday, 19 June 2012
Page: 7130

Mr GEORGANAS (Hindmarsh) (18:26): I was very lucky to have the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing visit my electorate not that long ago, where we held a forum to discuss the Productivity Commission's report on caring for older Australians. Many things were discussed that day. We had over 150 of my constituents turn up at the forum, which was held at Morphettville. As I said, lots of things were discussed that deal with ageing and with aged care—everything from taxation issues to a whole range of other issues. I would like to congratulate the minister for answering each and every question and, of course, for getting back to many of the constituents' questions we had that day.

A major aspect of that particular discussion and dialogue, which people raised and something that was very concerning, was about the current and increasing number of people with dementia—which is increasing at a very fast rate—and what this government is intending to do in this area. My question and the discussion I want to have today is: can the minister provide us with an update on policy and budget measures in this area of responsibility? We know that dementia is increasing; there are figures that are showing that it will more than double in a few years. The early detection of dementia and the care for those who are suffering dementia, as well as their carers, is becoming a very big issue. With an electorate like mine, one of the oldest electorates in the country—I like to call it the electorate with the highest wisdom, but that is another issue—I would certainly like to hear more about what is happening, where we are heading and what we can do about dementia.