Australia’s first National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians was released by the Commonwealth Attorney-General, Christian Porter, on Tuesday 19 March.
Developed in conjunction with state and territory government agencies, the plan provides an overview of the issues that governments need to act on as a priority, as well as early agreed actions to address them.
Launching the report, the Attorney-General said it sets out a framework for ongoing cooperation, action and monitoring against five key priority areas:
- Enhancing our understanding
- Improving community awareness and access to information
- Strengthening service responses
- Planning for future decision-making
- Strengthening safeguards for vulnerable older adults
The Attorney-General said these priority areas will to result in:
- access to better information about elder abuse, to enable governments to target effective responses
- better co-ordination across jurisdictions, as many families live across multiple states or territories and may struggle to navigate systems and rules operating in different locations
- an improvement in people’s access to information about elder abuse, including driving greater service responses, such as the Australian Government’s recent investment in front-line support services
- greater attention on the benefits of planning ahead and making it easier and safer for older people to utilise future-planning tools such as powers of attorney.
The plan complements, but does not replace, Commonwealth and state and territory policies about ageing and elder abuse.
The plan’s release meets a key recommendation of the Australian Law Reform Commission’s 2017 report, Elder Abuse: A national legal response.
The full National Plan and a one-page overview can be viewed on the Attorney-General’s website, where you can also read about the Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania’s success in being chosen as one of only 12 organisations nationally to conduct an Elder Abuse Service Trial.