National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians Released

National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians Released

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:

  1. Enhancing our understanding
  2. Improving community awareness and access to information
  3. Strengthening service responses
  4. Planning for future decision-making
  5. 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.