Queensland Law Society

Queensland Law Society’s elder abuse report highlights growing problem

Date 22 Jul 2011
Contact Natalie Graeff, Manager Corporate Communication
Phone (07) 3842 5868
Mobile 0488 433 884
Fax 07 3221 9329
Email n.graeff@qls.com.au

Queensland Law Society’s recently released report on elder abuse highlights a wide array of concerns with this growing problem.

The report is the culmination of 12 months’ work that included consultation with thef legal industry, government and community stakeholders following a joint issues paper published by Queensland Law Society and the office of the Public Advocate.

Queensland Law Society President Bruce Doyle said recent increased media attention on this issue reflects community concern regarding the rights and welfare of elderly citizens.

“We’re hearing more about this issue as people speak out and as the proportion of ageing residents steadily increases to a predicted 25 percent of the population by 2056,” Mr Doyle said.

“There is the potential for elder abuse to increase in prevalence so we need to strengthen guardianship laws.

“This report provides government with a blueprint for how we can improve protection and care for the elderly.”

Report findings state that key stakeholders consider there is a need to strengthen the laws affecting elderly Queenslanders, particularly in the areas of guardianship, tort law, workplace health and safety, criminal law and civil procedure

The report makes the following recommendations:

  • Review of the Civil Liability Act 2003 (Qld) and Personal Injuries Proceeding Regulations 2002 (Qld)
  • Nationwide uniform enduring powers of attorney
  • Education campaigns to help identify and prevent elder abuse
  • Establishing a specialist unit within Queensland Police Service’s State Crimes Operations Command to investigate complaints of elder abuse.

The report has been presented to the Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney-General and can be accessed at qls.com.au.

Queensland Law Society is holding a conference for members on the subject of Elder Law Friday 29 July at Law Society House, Brisbane.