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Monday, 8 February 2010
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To the Honourable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives:

   This petition of concerned Victorian citizens draws to the attention of the House:

   1.  The lack of recognition of the actual size of the rapidly-growing Chinese-speaking aged population;

   2.  The severe shortage of residential care places and community care packages that can cater for the specific needs of Chinese-speaking senior Victorians;

   3.  The shortfall of approximately 562 aged care places to which Chinese-speaking senior Victorians are entitled based on the national aged care planning benchmark;

   4.  The sufferings of Chinese-speaking senior Victorians and their carers when eligible applicants have been on the waiting lists of Chinese-specific aged care services for more than three years and some passed on before they could secure a place;

   5.  Pro-active measures need to be in place to respond to the substantial increase of Chinese-speaking aged population in Victoria, estimated to grow by more than 300% from 2006 to 2026.

We therefore ask the House to:

1.   Acknowledge that Australian citizens of Chinese background come from more than 100 countries and Government statistical data on the Chinese community should be compiled based on the language spoken at home instead of country of birth/origin;

2.   Give priority to the Victorian Chinese-speaking community in its allocation of residential care places and community care packages in the forthcoming Aged Care Approvals Round;

3.   Develop a strategic plan, through community consultations, to address the needs of people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds for aged care services.

Mrs Irwinby (from 12,430 citizens)