Bronwyn Bishop's day in Coffs

BRONWYN Bishop says superannuation and health sit at the top of the tree as areas of most concern to senior Australians.

Mrs Bishop, speaking ahead of her address to a Seniors Forum in Coffs Harbour yesterday, said seniors were a very impressive group. Mrs Bishop, a former Howard Government minister, is 67.

“People over 50 represent 30 per cent of the population and 40 per cent of the voters,” Mrs Bishop said.

“They can make or break governments.”

With a Federal election somewhere in the offing, the veteran politician, who is the Federal Opposition spokesperson on seniors, was losing no opportunity to cultivate such a fertile political heartland.

The electorate of Cowper has a higher-than average population of seniors.

Mrs Bishop said seniors had obviously made the connection between their superannuation and the mining ‘super tax.’

She said seniors were bemused by the Federal Government’s recent health package and did not know what difference it would make to them.

A third concern for older people was immigration, the size of the country (population) and the arrival of boat people while a further concern was themselves and the importance of their voice being heard, she said.

Her statement was interesting in the light of comments heard while waiting for Mrs Bishop to arrive, as a steady stream of retirees made their way into the C.ex Club for the forum.

Those comments from a younger person were along the lines that the attendees had nothing better to do, unless it was to attend specialists’ appointments.

Coramba senior Paul Owens was impressed with Mrs Bishop’s knowledge of seniors matters, saying she spoke for 90 minutes without notes and answered questions on a variety of topics.

Mr Owens said one thing that had ‘scared the daylights out of us’ was Mrs Bishop’s reference to the suggestion in the recent Henry Tax Review for re-introducing some form of death duties.

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