Seniors will suffer after Andrews Government’s sudden call to stop advertising in major Victorian newspapers.
A key, traditional source of public and emergency information will be lost as the focus turns to other platforms.
Shadow Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers, Tim Bull, said while Victorians of all ages relied on newspapers, it was particularly important for Victorian seniors.
“The reality is we have a number of seniors who do not own smart phones or a computer, and as they have done for decades, rely on the daily papers for their information,” Mr Bull said.
“I strongly support the comments from the Council of the Ageing Victoria and Seniors Rights Victoria chief executive, Chris Potaris, that this discriminates against older people.”
“And as an MP representing a rural region dependent on tourism, I also note the concern of tourism bodies warning other states will capitalise on the advertising vacuum to lure Victorians to their destinations rather that holidaying in our regions.”
Recent data from the Australian Digital Inclusion Index revealed 42 per cent of people aged above 75 could be regarded as “highly digitally excluded”.
Shadow Minister for Emergency Services, Ann-Marie Hermans, said “a significant part of the community use daily papers and notices as their source for important safety information including significant weather concerns, bushfire updates, road toll and health and safety initiatives.”
“Some of our most vulnerable community members rely on printed information for emergency updates and warnings. Banning government print advertising significantly reduces communication with the aged and vulnerable communities who need it the most,” Mrs Hermans said.