Your favourite Australian holiday destination

Australian Traveller magazine's 2013 Readers' Choice Awards have voted Melbourne the country's best city, its best winter holiday destination and the most romantic city but Sydney was voted as having the best restaurant and bar.

The Kimberley in remote WA was voted the ultimate dream destination, best adventure holiday destination and best cruise experience while a Queensland beach holiday was voted Australia’s best overall travel experience.

What is your favourite Australian travel destination and why? 

NT’s Advance Personal Planning Bill welcomed

Northern Territory seniors have welcomed legislation giving people more certainty in their advanced care decisions.

The Advance Personal Planning Bill 2013 passed the Legislative Assembly last Thursday, bringing the Territory into line with similar legislation elsewhere in Australia and overseas, said Margaret Borger, NT policy advisory group chair for over 50s consumer lobby group, National Seniors Australia.

NT Advance Personal Planning Bill passes

Northern Territory seniors have welcomed legislation giving people more certainty in their advanced care decisions.

The Advance Personal Planning Bill 2013 passed the Legislative Assembly last Thursday, bringing the Territory into line with similar legislation elsewhere in Australia and overseas, said Margaret Borger, National Seniors NT policy advisory group chair.

Financial help for WA ‘grandcarers’

Western Australia has launched a pilot program to give financial assistance to around 2,500 grandparents who care full-time for their grandchildren.

Applications opened today for the State’s first ‘Grandcarers’ Support Scheme.

Eligible grandparents will receive a $400 payment for the first child under 16 and $250 each for other children, to help buy books and uniforms for the new school year.

Every eligible grandparent who applies will receive financial support through this scheme.

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Join our campaign against ATO ruling on mobile homes

Residents of moveable home parks are being encouraged to get behind a National Seniors campaign calling on the Australian Tax Office to reconsider the impact of imposing the 10 per cent GST charge on mobile homes.

The draft ruling by the ATO means that moveable home estates are no longer classified as commercial residential premises which offer short-term accommodation and therefore moveable home parks will no longer be GST exempt.

Moveable home park operators are expected to pass on the costs to residents leaving them with possible rent rises of up to 10 per cent.

Changing workplaces as seniors work longer

Older workers in poor health could better fund their own treatments if they stayed in the workforce longer, a new report from National Seniors Australia has found.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics predicts the number of people aged over 65 will double to 6.8 million people by 2040 leaving Australia with a shortage of younger workers to support the increasing demand for government spending on age pensions, aged care and health services for an ageing population.

Productivity Commission calls to raise pension age

National Seniors, the consumer lobby for older Australians, has hit back at Productivity Commission suggestions that the pension age be raised to 70 and linked to longevity to counter the costs of population ageing.

National Seniors chief executive Michael O’Neill warned against raising the Age Pension age without first tackling the issue of mature age unemployment.

“It is naïve to suggest that simply raising the pension age will boost productivity,” said O’Neill.

“Currently, older Australians want to work but no one will hire them”.

Aged care pricing reforms welcomed

National Seniors Australia has cautiously welcomed changes to the setting and approval of accommodation payments to be charged in residential aged care from 1 July 2014.

Providers of residential aged care will now be able to set accommodation payments up to $550,000 before seeking approval from the Aged Care Commissioner.

Simplified criteria justifying the charges will also be developed.

Spying scandal over-reaction?

Indonesia has suspended all intelligence exchanges, joint military exchanges and naval co-operation against people-smuggling.

It wants Prime Minister Tony Abbott to explain why Australian intelligence monitored the phones of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife and advisers in 2009.

But Abbott and some commentators have said that all governments gather intelligence on each other and Australia is no different.

So is Indonesia over-reacting or not? 

WA older driver tests

Drivers aged 85 years and older will no longer be forced to undergo a mandatory practical driving assessment when renewing their car licence in Western Australia.

The state’s Transport Minister Troy Buswell said licence holders aged 80 years and over must still undergo annual medical tests, however they would only be required to undergo a driving assessment if it is recommended by a doctor.

These drivers get a new licence card every year once all criteria are met.

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