Helping local councils in NSW plan for age-friendly cities

Local Government NSW

Age-friendly Toolkit for NSW Local Government

NSW is home to more than 3 million older people aged 60+ years, representing 22% of our total population. Older people are a diverse group spanning different geographic areas, ages, abilities, incomes, genders and backgrounds. Older people have many strengths and skills and play a valuable role in their communities, but may also face challenges and barriers to accessing services and participating in community life.

Local government is well placed to plan for an ageing population and to provide an appropriate level of services and facilities to older community members.

Local Government NSW engaged Cred Consulting to review and update the Age-friendly Toolkit for NSW Local Government, which was initially published in 2012.

How we did it

Alongside a review of the original Toolkit to ensure that content reflected contemporary best practice in planning for age-friendly communities, Cred engaged with metropolitan, regional and rural local councils to understand their utilisation of the existing toolkit, as well as feedback on how to improve it. We heard that councils would like to see the Toolkit be more succinct, with more graphics, case studies and resources. We also consulted with peak bodies and advocacy groups, and heard that the Toolkit should address the diversity of the NSW ageing community, including the needs of people at different age stages and from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Photo by Matthew Duchesne

The outcome

The Toolkit aims to assist councils in planning for an ageing population and helps to identify issues relating to population ageing and how to address these issues in council corporate strategic plans.

Cred developed a new Toolkit that is more user-friendly and provides a range of best practice tools, resources and case studies that can assist local councils to:

  • plan for, and provide services to, an ageing population in their local community
  • communicate to Council’s executive management team the significant role councils play in their local community through the direct and indirect services to older people, and
  • apply these tools and resources for the effective implementation of council ageing plans or strategies or relevant actions in their community strategic plans.

In particular, the Toolkit links to the Integrated Planning and Reporting (IP&R) Framework, and sets out possible objectives and actions that councils can adopt within their Community Strategic Plan, Delivery Program and Operational Plan.

You can view the Age-Friendly Toolkit for NSW Local Government here.