GOVERNMENT ACTION: The Attorney-General, Christian Porter.
GOVERNMENT ACTION: The Attorney-General, Christian Porter.

Everyone to work together for an elder abuse national plan

THE Attorney-General, Christian Porter, announced earlier today that the state and territory governments will work together to have in place by the end of 2018 a national plan to address elder abuse

Mr Porter confirmed the Council of Attorneys-General, comprising the Commonwealth and all state and territory Attorneys-General, has agreed to work together to develop this plan.

The stories of elder abuse of women and men have been shared, mostly behind closed doors and out of earshot of perpetrators which are all too often family members.

Neither the government nor ageing support agencies have an accurate and detailed picture of the prevalence of abuse in all manner of situations. 

The Federal Government is funding a national study which will examine the prevalence of elder abuse and provide key evidence-based findings for the national plan. This is in addition to existing research for a national research agenda for elder abuse.

The national plan has five goals -

  • Promote the autonomy and agency of older people;
  • Address ageism and promote community understanding of elder abuse;
  • Achieve national consistency;
  • Safeguard at-risk older people and improve responses; and
  • Build the evidence basis.

"Australia has an ageing population, with the proportion of Australians aged 65 or over rising from 15 per cent of the population in 2014-15 to 23 per cent by 2055 and there is no doubt that, as a community, we need to address the risk of abuse that faces people as they age," Mr Porter said. 

"Attorneys-General across Australia will, in contributing to the national plan, work with ministers across health, community services and other portfolios to develop the Plan in consultation with older Australians, the community sector and the business and financial sectors."

The Council of Attorneys-General expects to receive a draft of the National Plan by the end of 2018.


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