At a community meeting of people aged over 65 with vision impairment in Cleveland today, Senator Larissa Waters and Greens Bowman candidate Penny Allman-Payne discussed the Greens' plan to improve eye health.
"As we grow older, we all deserve a healthy quality of life, and vision impairment can unfortunately hinder that," Senator Waters said.
"With the risk of eye disease increasing three-fold with every decade after forty, eye health is a critical issue for Australia's ageing population.
"As our population ages, the costs of delivering eye care for older Australians can be minimised through investment in early detection and prevention.
"The Greens have a national plan, costed at $35 million over four years, including a targeted awareness-raising campaign to encourage people to have an eye examination every two years; development of a comprehensive 10 year national eye health and vision strategy and investment in monitoring and research," Senator Waters said.
Greens candidate for Bowman, Penny Allman-Payne, said the plan would also help younger Queenslanders.
"Some eye diseases are hereditary and can cause blindness in babies, teenagers and adults as well as the elderly.
"Too many of us go without regular eye checks, but they're essential for spotting any problems early on.
"A simple eye check can prevent someone going blind.
"Seventy-five per cent of vision impairment in Australia is preventable or treatable.
"This is a staggering statistic that means around 500,000 Australians are unnecessarily blind or vision impaired.
"Our plan would help to work toward eliminating avoidable blindness, improving quality of life for many," Ms Allman-Payne said.
Senator Waters - Monique Vandeleur 0419 626 725
Penny Allman-Payne - Kate Dennehy 0422 294 771