The present paper presents an agenda for geriatric emergency medicine research, education and policy development. Herein we will argue: Population ageing is the definitive health policy challenge in Australasia, and the greatest stressor for emergency medicine posed by population ageing is the disproportionate contribution of older people to hospital occupancy. ED practices and models of care may on occasions contribute to rather than reduce high hospital occupancy in older people, benefitting neither individual patients nor the community at large. Geriatric emergency medicine priorities can be conceptualised using a simple framework, and this process will facilitate a research and policy focus on how to achieve equivalent or improved care for older people with less hospital occupancy. 2013 Australasian College for Emergency Medicine and Australasian Society for Emergency Medicine.