In 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote that there were only two things certain in life: death and taxes. It could be argued that there is in fact another certainty in life that we all experience every second of every day: ageing.
Australia has an ever increasing ageing population and the people of the Parkes electorate are well represented in this demographic.
I was quite alarmed to become aware that some older Australians in our society are not always feeling safe, cared for and respected.
A study by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, commissioned by the Coalition Government last year, suggested that between two and ten per cent of older Australians experience elder abuse in any given year with the prevalence of neglect being possibly higher. The study found that elder abuse could be financial, physical, sexual and/or psychological.
Older people contribute significantly to all aspects of our local communities and the fact that there are instances when their dignity is being betrayed by other members of our communities is simply unacceptable.
The Coalition recognises that more needs to be done to protect the rights of older Australians and we are taking significant steps to confront the often hidden scourge of elder abuse and put the rights of older Australians on the national agenda.
I am very pleased that a re-elected Coalition Government will invest $15 million to ensure older Australians in our community feel safe, cared for, and respected.
The Coalition’s national plan to better protect the rights of older Australians includes:
• developing a national elder abuse hotline;
• developing pilot training programmes for frontline staff;
• a study into the prevalence of elder abuse to better understand the problem; and
• developing a national awareness campaign to educate and to change attitudes and values.
I will work tirelessly to ensure that elder abuse is prevented and detected and the rights of the older members of our communities are respected.