- Bankwest to host financial services roundtable in conjunction with the State Government to prevent financial elder abuse
- McGowan Government releases Strategy to Respond to the Abuse of Older People for public comment
- $1.42 million in 2019-20 State Budget to deliver final strategy's priorities
- World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is today (June 15)
The State Government today launched its Western Australian-first elder abuse prevention strategy for public comment and announced it will partner with Bankwest to host a roundtable on the prevention of financial elder abuse.
The Bankwest roundtable will bring financial institutions, government and other stakeholders together to develop approaches to address financial elder abuse - the most common form of abuse against older Australians.
Financial elder abuse generally involves the inappropriate use of a vulnerable or dependent person's financial assets by someone close to them, often a relative or friend.
The Strategy to Respond to the Abuse of Older People is now out for public comment and will help inform the State Government's ongoing response to the growing issue.
The 2019-20 State Budget allocated $1.42 million towards preventing elder abuse, and the final strategy will help inform further prevention and awareness measures to be funded as part of the program.
Funding has already been allocated to give important elder abuse service providers a five-year funding agreement to continue their important work, and provide more resources to the WA Elder Abuse Helpline.
The strategy has identified four key priority areas:
- Raising awareness and early identification;
- Prevention and early intervention;
- Integrated and co-ordinated responses; and
- Improving availability of data and evidence.
Members of the public and stakeholders are invited to take part in the consultation process by visiting http://www.communities.wa.gov.au/elderabuse or by sending written submissions to Elder Abuse Strategy Submission, Department of Communities, PO Box 6334, East Perth WA 6892. The public consultation period runs from today (June 15) to July 24, 2019.
Comments attributed to Seniors and Ageing Minister Mick Murray:
"This strategy will for the first time give Western Australia a clear way forward in tackling the growing scourge of elder abuse in our communities.
"We have already committed funding from the 2019-20 State Budget for a number of measures, and the final strategy will help us determine further prevention and awareness programs to combat elder abuse.
"I now ask service providers, stakeholders and members of the public to get involved in the consultation process and make their views heard.
"Financial elder abuse is becoming increasingly common as older people come to rely more closely on family members and friends.
"We look forward to working closely with Bankwest and other financial institutions to determine how the community can do better to protect older people at risk of financial abuse."
Comments attributed to Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk:
"Elder abuse is a family and domestic violence issue just like any other, and this Government is serious about cracking down on those who seek to exploit vulnerable people.
"Abuse is abuse and everyone should call it out when they see it. I commend Bankwest for their proactive work in the elder abuse space and acknowledge the hard work and advocacy Advocare has undertaken over many years to raise this issue in the minds of the public."
Comments attributed to Bankwest Chief Operating Officer for Personal and Business Banking Shari Cosgriff:
"With World Elder Abuse Awareness Day today, the timing couldn't be more fitting to announce that Bankwest will host a roundtable with WA's financial services sector on the issue of financial elder abuse.
"Data from the Alliance for the Prevention of Elder Abuse WA shows that financial elder abuse is the most common form of elder abuse, accounting for over a third of all reported cases.
"At Bankwest we believe this issue needs a co-ordinated approach and the roundtable will be a perfect opportunity to share insights and learnings into how the financial services sector can work together to help protect older customers from financial abuse.
"We welcome the leadership role Minister Murray and the Department of Communities are taking to proactively address this important issue."
Comments attributed to Advocare chief executive Diedre Timms:
"I thank and commend Minister Murray and the McGowan Government for launching the first ever WA plan to respond to the abuse of older people in our community.
"We look forward to the consultation process and also to working with Bankwest.
"The abuse of older people is everybody's business. We must change minds and attitudes to address ageism wherever it occurs.
"We all need to stand up and take action. It is very pleasing indeed to see a major financial institution like Bankwest being prepared to do just that alongside the State Government and Advocare."
Seniors and Ageing Minister's office - 6552 6400
Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister's office - 6552 6600