Janine Freeman MLALabor Member for Mirrabooka

Your local Labor MP

Minister for Seniors vigorously unaware of elder abuse

Thursday 07 Jul 2011


"The Advocare report is very clear in its definition of elder abuse as when a younger person, often a family member or carer, takes advantage of an elderly person, most commonly financial abuse," Labor Spokeswoman for Seniors, Sue Ellery said.


"It is abuse of an elderly person, not abuse by an elderly person.


"Ms McSweeney is attempting to justify her bizarre answer by claiming she was talking about domestic violence. While no one is claiming domestic violence is any less important, this is not what the question, or the report, was about."


Ms Ellery said the Minister's comments in Hansard were changed to replace the word 'vicious' with 'vigorous', and then changed back yesterday afternoon after the issue gained attention from the media.


"I am very interested to know how Hansard was changed without the Minister's knowledge, as she claims," Ms Ellery said.


"Video evidence clearly shows Ms McSweeney saying vicious, but the written record has been changed twice.


"I look forward to the Legislative Council President's investigation into how it could be changed without her approval."


Janine Freeman said the Advocare report showed about 12,500 Western Australians were victims of elder abuse and, given the State's ageing population, the number was expected to double in the next 20 years.


"This is a serious issue that sadly, is only going to become more prevalent. It is an absolute disgrace that the Minister responsible for the seniors portfolio has no idea about it," Janine said.


"One of the recommendations of the report is that a public education campaign is required to promote awareness of the issue.