In 2017, the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Report Elder Abuse – A National Legal Response was released, which made recommendations about adult safeguarding that extended beyond elder abuse and focused on ‘at-risk adults’.
Queensland is yet to make significant reforms following the Commission’s report.
The Public Advocate has completed a two-volume report on adult safeguarding in Queensland.
The first volume draws on extensive consultation with stakeholders to identify adult safeguarding ‘gaps’ that exist.
The second volume identifies reforms to address these gaps and issues.
In addition to analysing existing literature and thinking on adult safeguarding, volume one of the report draws heavily on the eight in-person roundtables conducted by the Public Advocate across Queensland during 2021 and 2022. It also utilises feedback from other in-person and online consultations held with service professionals and with people with lived experience of disability held during this time. The roundtables were held in Townsville, Mt Isa, Rockhampton, Toowoomba, Southport, Caloundra, and Brisbane. Each was attended by a wide range of stakeholders representing multiple sectors, including health, housing, emergency services, community and legal services, and guardianship and administration.
This report, Adult Safeguarding in Queensland, Volume 2: Reform Recommendations, includes 17 recommendations for Government to consider.
The two key reform recommendations made in the report include:
- The introduction of an adult safeguarding agency in Queensland, led by an Adult Safeguarding Commissioner (Recommendation 1).
- The development of regionally based adult safeguarding networks to encourage community ownership and action regarding local adult safeguarding concerns (Recommendation 10).
Volume 2 of the report was tabled in the Queensland Parliament on Thursday 8 December 2022.