- Seniors and Ageing Minister Mick Murray welcomes the Council of Attorneys-General agreement to develop the National Plan on elder abuse
- The National Plan will be a co-ordinated approach to safeguarding the rights of older people
- Western Australia will co-chair the national working group
- It is estimated that 12,500 older Western Australians could experience elder abuse and more than 180,000 nationally
The State Government has welcomed the announcement that all Australian Attorneys-General - excluding Tasmania's which is in caretaker mode - will develop a national plan to combat elder abuse.
'Responding to elder abuse' was a McGowan Government election commitment with specific actions including taking a key role - in negotiations with State and Federal governments - to develop a national strategy and a funding model to enable services to be delivered equitably.
The Commonwealth Attorney-General's office made the announcement today (February 20) coinciding with the 5th National Elder Abuse Conference being held in Sydney.
The Australian Law Reform Commission's capstone recommendation for a National Plan recognised the need to develop strategies beyond legal reforms.
This presented the opportunity to develop national awareness and community education campaigns, provide training, establish elder abuse helplines and direct future research.
Planning for the initiative gets underway next month (March) when the working group - co-chaired by WA - meet to agree on an engagement strategy and a timetable for development.
Comments attributed to Seniors and Ageing Minister Mick Murray:
"WA Labor has long recognised the prevalence of elder abuse in the community with an estimated 12,500 older Western Australians potentially experiencing abuse every year.
"We also recognise that this is a highly complex and often seemingly invisible issue that can take many forms.
"These forms of abuse can be financial, emotional or psychological, social, neglect and physical or sexual abuse.
"Regardless of the type of abuse, the sad truth is that exploitation or abuse of older people is more likely to come from people the older person should trust like family or friends.
"The McGowan Government's election commitment 'Responding to elder abuse', covers many areas including being a part of this national plan.
"The plan provides a significant opportunity to increase awareness about the issue and to provide a range of meaningful initiatives to help older people to feel safer and more secure."
Minister's office - 6552 6400