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NSW beefs up elder abuse powers


And independent ageing and disability commissioner with powers to execute search warrants and seize evidence will begin operating in NSW from July next year.

Gladys Berejiklian

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian

Specialist elder abuse officers will also be introduced into each NSW Police command and will work closely the new commissioner.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian says the position was established to “investigate and stamp out” abuse of older people and those with disability.

The Commissioner will be tasked with investigating allegations of abuse, neglect and exploitation as well as supporting vulnerable older people and their families following investigations.

The position will also help raise community awareness, the premier said.

“We will not tolerate the abuse, neglect and exploitation of older people, or people with disability,” Ms Berejiklian said in a statement.

“That’s why we are introducing a powerful and independent Commissioner to ensure that our most vulnerable citizens are protected.”

Special powers of the new NSW Ageing and Disability Commissioner

  • Ability to initiate investigations
  • Power to apply for and execute a search warrant and seize evidence
  • Information gathering and sharing powers

The announcement comes after a NSW Parliamentary inquiry, an Ombudsman’s report and a NSW Law Reform Commission review.

Disability services minister Ray Williams said the government was responding to community demand for a commissioner.

“The new Commissioner will help ensure that all people with disability know they can be protected from exploitation and neglect in the community,” Mr Williams said in a statement.

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