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Establishment of peak body to counter elder abuse

Media Release

A new group to be launched today by the Attorney-General will focus on supporting older Australians and protecting them from elder abuse.

Attorney-General, Christian Porter, will launch Elder Abuse Action Australia (EAAA) at an event in Sydney, ahead of World Elder Abuse Day tomorrow.

"The abuse of older Australians is tragic and the Turnbull Government is committed to working with state and territory governments, and our community partners, to develop solutions to address this issue," the Attorney-General said.

"EAAA has been established to work in partnership with government to promote the safety, dignity, equality, health and independence of older Australians through education, capacity building, data gathering and research.

"This new alliance will play a key role in the development of a National Plan to combat elder abuse, which I announced in February.

A National Plan was a key recommendation of the 2017 Australian Law Reform Commission's (ALRC) Report: Elder Abuse - a National Legal Response, which highlighted a litany of examples of serious physical abuse, financial abuse, neglect and exploitation of older people.

"As Australia's population ages, with the proportion of those aged 65 or over rising from 15% of the population in 2014-15 to 23% by 2055, we need to address the risk of abuse that faces people as they age.

"Last week the Council of Attorneys-General agreed to work towards the establishment of a national register of Enduring Powers of Attorney as a key step to provide protection from financial abuse of older Australians."

The Turnbull Government is providing $500,000 to EAAA under Budget initiatives to protect the rights of older Australians. These funds will assist the establishment and work program of the EAAA to contribute to policy making and system design to prevent and address the abuse of older people.

EAAA is working closely with the Turnbull Government to investigate options to develop a central knowledge hub. This will make it easier for older people, their families, carers and support staff, and allied professionals to access the information and training necessary to address and prevent the abuse of older people.

The Attorney-General commended all those services and people who contributed to the development of EAAA, particularly the EAAA Working Group of:

  • Seniors Rights Victoria
  • The Queensland Caxton Legal Centre
  • South Australia's Aged Rights Advocacy Service
  • New South Wales' Seniors Rights Service, and
  • Western Australia's Advocare