Canberra Report: We can do more to offer 'protection'

I was pleased to officially opened World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Muswellbrook on Friday.

The event organised by the Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit and Integrated Living brought together more than 50 community members and local organisations for the United Nations General Assembly recognised awareness event.

Elder abuse can come in many forms; physical, social, financial, psychological or sexual and can include mistreatment and neglect. Elder abuse is any act which causes harm to an older person and is carried out by someone they know and trust such as a family member or friend. Sadly 92 per cent of abuse is perpetrated by family members.

We can't change human nature but we can do more to offer protection.

Friday's World Elder Abuse Awareness Day event also offered the opportunity to acknowledge the wonderful contribution made by older Australians in our community. We are fortunate we have a number community organisations that provide valuable support for people in need as well as many groups which offer social connection and inclusion that enriches the lives of elderly people in the Hunter.

For more information about elder abuse support services, visit www.elderabusehelpline.com.au or call the Elder Abuse Helpline on 1800 628 221.

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This week sees the return of Parliament sitting in Canberra. This week I have continued to put pressure on the Turnbull Government to phase out the live sheep export trade and to produce an industry plan to ensure sheep farmers not disadvantaged.

It's been more than 10 weeks since we were shocked by the 60 Minutes footage of the cruelty of the live sheep export trade.

Since then, the Turnbull Government has sat idle as sheep continue to suffer on these long haul voyages over the Middle East Northern summer.

On Monday I introduced legislation to appoint an Inspector-General of Animal Welfare and Live Animal Exports in the House of Representatives.

This will provide independent oversight so animal welfare standards are adhered to and to ensure incidents of cruelty like what we witnessed on the Awassi Express are not repeated.

Our community demands accountability and transparency. A sustainably profitable agriculture sector needs strong and sustainable animal welfare protections.


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