On Tuesday 23 May 2017, Hon Nick Goiran gave Notice of Motion to establish a select committee into elder abuse in Western Australia to look at risk factors and ways to better protect vulnerable Western Australians.
The select committee inquiry will also consider whether elder abuse should be a specific offence in the criminal code.
“I want to make sure that people who feel they are being taken advantage are aware of the range of options available to them” Mr Goiran said.
Recent studies into elder abuse have found that one in 20 older Australians are affected in some way and according to Advocare who runs a hotline for WA victims, psychological abuse is the most common form of elder abuse followed closely by financial.
“There seems to almost be a growing culture of inheritance impatience and that’s concerning” Mr Goiran added.
Advocare chief executive Greg Mahney welcomed the prospect of an inquiry into elder abuse which he considered to be little recognised.
“We certainly see cases where people have stolen their parent’s homes, sold the property whilst mum’s gone to the nursing home and kept the proceeds, it really does vary a lot,”
“There’s also a lot of psychological abuse, people doing nasty things so for example, suggesting they’ll never bring their grandchildren around to Christmas ever again.”
The proposed motion is yet to be debated in the Legislative Council but is expected to draw cross party support.
At this stage it looks probable that the motion will be considered by the Legislative Council on 13 September 2017.
“I’m currently conferring with other Members of the Legislative Council to ascertain whether they will support my motion. I am encouraged by the expressions of support to-date” Mr Goiran concluded.
Hon Nick Goiran wants the committee to undertake a thorough 12 month inquiry before reporting its findings and recommendations to Parliament.