Focus on Seniors

• Wireless Hill Museum volunteer Trevor Kelly (above) with old telecomm objects that will be on display at the Show and Tell Vintage Technology Information Day.

Golden comms

TO celebrate 20th century telecommunications, Perth’s Wireless Hill Museum will host a free show-and-tell session and an outdoor screening of the classic silent film The Thief of Bagdad.

Former Melville mayor Russell Aubrey said the Show and Tell Vintage Technology Information Day was a chance to get the opinion of telecomms experts on old items like radios gathering dust in your shed.

“From old radios, movie cameras and gramophones to VHF sets and vintage telephones, there will be an expert on hand to identify your object, give you historical information, show you how to look after it, and perhaps even show you how to use it,” Mr Aubrey said.

“We also invite the community to our free outdoor cinema night, screening the silent film The Thief of Bagdad.”

The event is part of the council’s 2011 Wireless Hill Interpretation Plan, which reflects the site’s unique mix of natural beauty, Aboriginal heritage and communications.

Wireless Hill is home to Capital Community Radio 101.7FM, the only community radio station in WA dedicated to broadcasting music and information to seniors in greater Perth and beyond.

The Show and Tell Vintage Technology Information Day is tomorrow (Sunday October 27) 10am-4pm, and the outdoor screening of The Thief of Bagdad is on November 9, 5.30pm-9pm.

The two events are part of the Picture Palaces of Perth exhibition, on show at Wireless Hill Museum until November 24.

Willpower

A FREE talk on wills by the Public Trustee WA is one of the highlights of Seniors Week.

One of the best-known public speakers on wills, Etta Palumbo, will explain how to navigate the deceased estate admin process, the benefits and risks of enduring powers of attorney and guardianship, and how to safeguard against financial or elder abuse in later life.

Thousands of people die each year without having made wills, and in most of these cases the state gets the money and families and friends lose out. According to research by the Public Trustee, 49 per cent of West Australians have never made a will, and 34 per cent of the local population acknowledge that their will is not up-to-date.

The will talks are on November 12 and 14 (10.15am-11.45am) at the Public Trustee Argyle Room, Level 1/553, Hay Street, Perth.

Bookings essential at http://www.trybooking.com/ZTPO

Start me up

More seniors claiming Newstart

OVER 55 and on Newstart?

If so, there’s probably not a lot to cheer about given its miserly “income support” payments and onerous conditions.

But if it’s any consolation, you’re in the biggest dole club around and your membership is going gangbusters.

More than 170,000 Australians in the 55-64 years age bracket are on the Newstart Allowance, and that’s a 45 per cent increase from just five years ago.

Closer to home, St Patrick’s in Fremantle and St Bart’s in Perth report that within that bracket, they’re increasingly getting inquiries from older women who are so close to the edge of poverty they’re at dire risk of slipping into homelessness.

It’s why National Seniors Australia have been pushing for the Newstart allowance to be raised, as well as calling on the Morrison government to have Newstart included into an upcoming review into retirement incomes.

“Older Australians struggle to find a job, struggle to make ends meet, forcing them to eat into their retirement saving, and as a result, they struggle to stay out of poverty when they do eventually retire,” NSA chief advocate Ian Henschke said.

Mr Henschke said it was inexplicable for Newstart to have been left out of the retirement income review.

“It’s false economics to punish older Australians needlessly as they had towards retirement, because they will end up on a full pension after chewing up their savings and super,” he said.

The Liberal party has been split on the issue of raising Newstart, with former prime minister John Howard and Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce both saying it was time for a lift.

But key players in the Morrison government have ensured the genie’s been left in the bottle so far.

Opposition social services shadow Linda Burney was recently in Perth promoting a Labor petition calling on the Morrison government to lift Newstart.

She pointed out that the Council of the Ageing was also supporting the push, along with other organisations such as St Vincent De Paul, the Business Council of Australia, Catholic Social Services Australia, and a bunch of current and former Liberal MPs and senators.

As of Wednesday this week, the petition had attracted more than 23,000 signatures. It can be found at http://www.alp.org.au/increasenewstart

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