Elder abuse awareness funding welcome, but details needed

SENIORS have welcomed the Coalition's announcement of a national action plan to protect the rights of older Australians.  

Attorney-general Senator George Brandis told a National Seniors Australia forum in Brisbane's south today that if re-elected, the government would invest $15 million in a platform for recognising and safeguarding the rights of older people.  

Brandis said the funding would include developing a national elder abuse hotline, a study into the prevalence of elder abuse, a national awareness campaign and development of pilot training programs for front line staff to help them recognise and deal with elder abuse.  

National Seniors chief executive Michael O'Neill said the announcements were a positive first step.

  "But like any other funding commitment, the devil is in the detail and we will be watching with great interest to see if and how these initiatives are implemented," O'Neill said.  

Vulnerable older people had a right to protection against abuse, he said.  

"Seniors have spent their lives working, bringing up families and contributing to the community.

 "They deserve dignity and respect in their later years and protection from abuse in its many forms, including emotional, physical and financial ill treatment."  

In a move marking World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) today released an issues paper on elder abuse, calling for submissions from individuals, groups, government agencies and legal professionals.  

The deadline for the submissions is 18 August 2016.  

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