One of Port Macquarie’s socially and economically most important sectors has just had a very big week. The allocation of 202 new places for aged care here by the federal government is a major fillip for the city.
All but six of those places are for new developments which means two major construction projects will be underway in town soon.
Separately, established operator Garden Village got $5 million towards a major redevelopment that will include 35 new units and a range of improved facilities.
This all creates a boost for jobs and suppliers in the short and long term. Each new place means one more long term job.
It is hard to overstate how important it is that Port Macquarie has become a favored place with older Australians in retirement.
The reasons for that favoritism are obvious. The climate is great. The seaside location is fantastic. Our facilities are great.
The increase in the older population here, and elsewhere, is also down to the fact that the “Baby Boomer” generation is approaching 70.
The wider community is the winner. Older Australians are big spenders on goods and services. Cashed up Boomers will lift that level further.
Their emergence is also changing the shape and nature of the sorts of facilities being designed and built. They want better recreational facilities, and more accommodation options than have satisfied the market to date.
There must still be a large taxpayer commitment to reflect the fact that not all residents have a capacity to pay for the level of service that many Boomers expect, and can afford.
Next year the government will spend almost $20 billion on aged care to ensure Australians have a decent level of comfort in their old age.
But hold onto your hat. The Boomers are coming. They are revolutionising aged care across the country, including in Port Macquarie, where they will stimulate jobs, spending, and the prosperity of the whole community.