Wagga City Council has apologised following concerns raised over the exclusion of seniors from a new festival designed to celebrate people of all ages.
The council replaced its usual Youth Week and Seniors’ Festival with Fresh – a month-long event that aims to unify the community.
The broad range of events throughout April will include events such as bird watching, skateboarding and parkour workshops.
A pamphlet released by the council listed events but gave very few details such as cost, leaving senior residents without vital information.
Former councillor Mary Kidson said although the pamphlet provided a website with all the details, which leaves senior residents, with no computer skills, unable to access the necessary information.
“It was an example of very poor communication, particularly considering many of the people who would be interested have no means of electronic communication, or computer communication,” she said.
“And there was no other contact given whatsoever.”
Ms Kidson also raised concerns on how seniors were expected to factor the events into their cost of living, especially since many rely on a pension.
“People who are on fixed or limited incomes like to be able to plan in advance as to how much it might cost them,” she said.
“Or if they want to go to more things, say bus trips which are a bit expensive, they want to work out which they want to do or do they plan so that it’s affordable.”
Joyce Mattingly, a local senior resident, agreed with Ms Kidson’s comments, saying it was hard for her without computer skills to access the information.
“A lot of older people don’t have computers and we are left out of things,” she said.
“When they had it in the booklet, you get a book and then you could work out where you could go and how much it was going to cost.
“If you haven’t got a computer to go and have a look, you might as well stay home.”
When questioned, the council’s director of community Janice Summerhayes apologised for the matter.
“Wagga Wagga City Council is committed to the principles of inclusion, accessibility and participation for all community members,” she said.
“Council will ensure these additional details are included in all ongoing promotional material for the 2018 Fresh festival – and apologises for the oversight in this detail not being included on the print schedule material distributed.”