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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 3 June 2021) . . Page.. 1757 ..


illegally or improperly, including threatening or coercing a person to hand over an asset, stealing, and misuse and abuse of a power of attorney.

In many cases, it is the person responsible for caring for that older person who is also doing the abusing and that is why it is such a difficult issue to address. No-one wants to report their son or daughter because they rely on them and because they love them. Very few want to report a carer when their quality of life depends on their support, however lacking it may be.

Research shows that up to 14 per cent of older people may be experiencing elder abuse. However, the real number may be higher because many people feel that they cannot speak up. As with domestic and family violence, the issue is gendered, with older women being two to three times more likely to experience abuse than older men, particularly sexual abuse. A contributing factor, of course, could also be that women tend to live longer than men, with 63 per cent of people over 85 being female.

We know that the older population will continue to increase over time, and that is why we must ensure adequate, appropriate and accessible avenues for remedy. My electorate of Murrumbidgee has a relatively older demographic. Weston Creek has 20 per cent and Woden Valley has 19 per cent of the population over 65 years of age compared to 11 per cent in north Canberra. That is why I am especially pleased that the upcoming expo is at Weston Creek.

As advocates such as COTA have said, there is still a taboo and stigma attached to the abuse of older people and we must continue to address that in order to protect those who are at risk of bullying, harassment and exploitation as a result of age and frailty, perceived or otherwise.

This expo aims to increase knowledge about the issue and help identify services that can help to spread awareness in the broader community. I hope many of you will make the effort to attend the expo between 10 am and 3 pm or attend the expert panel discussion between 10.30 am and noon. I thank Communities@Work for organising the event.

Brindabella electorate—community engagement

MR DAVIS (Brindabella) (5.18): This Assembly has spent a fair bit of time in the last few sitting weeks discussing issues pertinent to the people of Gungahlin, and I think that is very important. There are a number of pressing and time-sensitive planning decisions happening in Gungahlin, and through their Greens’ voice, my colleague Mr Braddock, those views have been represented in this place. But I would like to take you south for a little bit to Tuggeranong.

Yesterday, I presented a petition to this Assembly representing my constituents of Gordon concerned about a number of ongoing traffic management issues.

What I was surprised to learn in the hours after that petition was presented was just how many of our shared constituency across the suburbs of Gordon, Banks and Conder have a number of pressing city services and traffic management issues that


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