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Published date: Sunday, 16 September 2018

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The NSW Government welcomes the Commonwealth Government’s commitment to establish a Royal Commission into the Australian aged care sector.

Abuse of older and vulnerable people, wherever it occurs, is reprehensible and often a crime.

As a Government, we are committed to ensuring vulnerable members of our communities are respected and that there are strong mechanisms in place for elder abuse to be prevented, reported and acted upon.

The NSW Government has already undertaken work to ensure older people in our communities receive the care they deserve, including:

  • Working with other states and territories at the Council of Attorneys General (CAG), to develop the National Plan on Elder Abuse and playing a key role in the CAG working group identifying options for harmonisation of laws for enduring powers of attorney;

  • Endorsing the NSW Elder Abuse Inquiry Progress Report, which communicates the Government’s achievements towards implementing its response to there commendations of the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Elder Abuse in NSW;

  • Funding the Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit and supporting stage one of the Commonwealth Government’s National Elder Abuse Research Agenda, which will help to engage hard-to-reach vulnerable older people, as part of the NSW Ageing Strategy 2016-2020;

  • Completing a review of the NSW Interagency Policy for Preventing and Responding to Abuse of Older People, and continuing to work with the NSW Steering Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse to ensure a whole-of-government approach to tackling the scourge of elder abuse in our communities; and

  • Considering the recommendations of the 2018 NSW Law Reform Commission’s Review of the Guardianship Act 1987.

Significant progress is underway, but there is more to do. The Royal Commission into aged care announced today is an important step to ensure those living in supported accommodation are safe.

The NSW Government looks forward to consulting with the Commonwealth Government on the Royal Commission Terms of Reference over coming weeks to inform this important work.