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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 9 Hansard (23 August) . . Page.. 3531 ..


Public Trustee and Guardian—Part 1.18

MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (12.07): The Public Trustee and Guardian is an area of service which often does not get a lot of public attention unless something goes wrong. As we know, that is unfortunately what happened a number of years ago, and on top of that the agency then went through a significant restructure. At this junction it seems to me that after a very difficult period this group has weathered those storms and is now back on track providing important services to Canberrans.

I thank the staff for their hard work during these tough times and acknowledge the improvements that have been made and the effort required to make those changes work in the interests of our community.

However, I raise one issue which is addressed not only by the Public Trustee but also the Legal Aid Commission, the Human Rights Commissioner and the Public Advocate, that is, the issue of elder abuse. As Andrew Taylor, the Public Trustee and Guardian, said in estimates:

Most of the business units that we have at Public Trustee and Guardian are involved at some level of the elder abuse spectrum ... it is our experience that what we see is the tip of the iceberg because it is not reported. It is not reported because as much as 60 per cent of elder abuse is committed by a family member. There are reasons for not reporting abuse within a family. With the true picture that is out there, we do not see it at all.

This is an area that behoves us in many of our portfolio areas to be alert to and mindful of. It is an area that is in many ways hidden in the community. There is much debate, rightfully, at the moment in our community about issues such as domestic violence, and I do not think elder abuse, which is perhaps an equally significant issue, is receiving as much attention. Maybe it is time for us as a community and certainly as an Assembly to turn our minds to that very important issue.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission—Part 1.19

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Total Appropriated to Territory Entities

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Treasurer's Advance—Part 1.20

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Total Appropriations

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Clauses 1 to 10, by leave, taken together and agreed to.


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