MEDIA RELEASE: Safeguarding the Silver Economy: COTA National Policy Forum

Policy makers, politicians, industry bodies and service providers are congregating at the National Press Club in Canberra today for the COTA National Policy Forum.

The 2018 COTA National Policy Forum will focus on the unique challenges and opportunities facing older consumers, the challengers for regulators, as well as explore trends in the burgeoning silver economy.

Speakers include:

  • Jane Caro, author, novelist, journalist, broadcaster, columnist, advertising writer and social commentator
  • Peter Kell, Deputy Chairman, Australian Securities and Investment Commission
  • Dr Stephen King, Commissioner, Productivity Commission
  • Roland Manderson, Deputy Director, Anglicare Australia
  • Jeff Fiedler, National Development Worker, Housing for the Aged Action Group
  • Lynne Gallagher, Director Advocacy, Communications, Research; Energy Consumers Australia
  • Gerard Brody, Chief Executive Officer, Consumer Action Law Centre
  • Dr Bronwyn Evans, Chief Executive Officer, Standards Australia
  • Erin Turner, Director Campaigns and Communications, CHOICE

CEO of COTA Australia, Ian Yates, said this year’s forum was a timely opportunity to workshop solutions to the unique challenges and opportunities facing more than 8 million older consumers over 50 years.

“Australia’s ageing population is increasing rapidly and as consumers this can be a double edged sword.

“Over the last decade we have seen a growing number of older Australians challenge negative stereotypes associated with ageing.

“In spite of this and the ever increasing mature aged workforce, many older Australians often experience age discrimination and are vulnerable to exploitation, both in the workplace and in complex consumer markets.

“In order to fully capitalise on the benefits and opportunities of an ageing population, we need to move past negative stereotypes to better identify and meet the needs of a dynamic, diverse group of older Australians.

“Older consumers face a number of additional barriers to accessing and participating in complex consumer markets, such as the electricity, housing and financial markets.

“Policy makers, politicians, industry bodies and service providers must work together to ensure older consumers can retain and exercise a high level of choice, navigate key challenges, avoid exploitation and protect their rights.

“The 2018 COTA National Policy Forum provides an important platform for older Australians to ensure their voices are heard in consumer policy, regulation and market practice,” said Mr Yates.

For further information on the Forum and speaker times visit:

Media contact: Ian Yates 0418 835 439, Bronte Kerr 0411 676 269