We need a Territory specific plan to protect elderly Canberrans who are vulnerable to abuse, Shadow Minister for Seniors Nicole Lawder said.
On the eve of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Ms Lawder is calling for localised action to combat the abuse of older people in Canberra.
While the ACT Government supported the National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians (Elder Abuse) 2019-23, there was no dedicated funding in its recent budget for an ACT Implementation Plan.
An ACT Implementation Plan would contain measurable actions, goals and targets to help the Territory government achieve objectives set out in the national plan.
“Sadly, we know that some older people in Canberra are suffering from financial, emotional, physical or sexual abuse – often at the hands of people they know,” Ms Lawder said.
“Often victims don’t recognise the abuse. When they do, victims don’t always know where to go for help.
“There is also confusion in the broader community about what constitutes elder abuse and how to identify it is occurring.
“We are morally compelled to ensure that we are doing everything we can to protect elderly Canberrans from abuse and give them the support they need.
“If the ACT does not take strong, measurable action, I have real concerns that more elderly Canberrans will become victims of abuse as our elderly population grows.
“An awareness campaign to help the community identify signs of elder abuse, how to stop it and where to go to for help would be an important component of an ACT Implementation Plan.
“Elderly Canberrans are respected and loved members of our community and we must do all we can to ensure they are cared for,” Ms Lawder said.
Tuggeranong residents have been forgotten by Labor, Member for Brindabella Nicole Lawder said.
The 2019 ACT Budget has put Tuggeranong residents last, starving Canberra’s south of investments in capital works and local services.
“This budget has dealt a double blow to Tuggeranong residents,” Ms Lawder said.
“Labor and the Greens are raking in record revenue from people in Canberra’s south, but Tuggeranong residents are getting less and less in return.
“Tuggeranong schools, local parks, sports fields and equipment continue to be neglected.
“There’s been no increased funding for basic services like lawn mowing, rubbish removal, fixing street lighting and graffiti removal.
“For a long time, Tuggeranong residents have felt that they are forgotten. This budget sends that message loud and clear.”
Humane laws to reward responsible dog ownership and make dangerous dog owners more accountable will be debated in the Assembly today, Shadow Minister for Urban Services Nicole Lawder said.
“Dog attacks is an ongoing problem across our City. I continue to hear reports from traumatised pet owners who have witnessed their beloved pets get mauled, and sometimes killed,” Ms Lawder said.
“I have always said that violent dog attacks is both a public safety and an animal welfare issue.
“By overlooking the emotional and physical trauma caused by dog attacks, City Services Minister Chris Steel is turning a blind eye to animal cruelty and human suffering.
“Mr Steel has indicated his government will introduce an annual tax for all dog owners in response to dog attacks. This is an inhumane way to deal with a traumatising issue.
“Most Canberrans are responsible dog owners who love their pets, sometimes like family. Responsible dog owners should be rewarded, not hit with an annual dog tax.
“I hope that since I first introduced these laws, the Labor Party and the Greens have come to view violent dog attacks as a pressing issue requiring urgent action.
“I look forward to bringing the Canberra Liberals’ responsible dog ownership laws forward for debate,” Ms Lawder concluded.
In November 2018, Ms Lawder tabled amendments to the Domestic Animals Act 2000.
The amendments propose to:
Waive the dog registration fee if owners and their dogs successfully complete approved dog training;
Double the dangerous dog license fee from $750 per year to $1,500 per year; and
Remove financial barriers for people who no longer want to own a dangerous dog. Currently, dangerous dog owners have to pay $60.70 to surrender a vicious dog.
Radical Green-Labor proposal turns animal-loving Canberrans into crooks
Elements of unwarranted laws tabled today appear to target responsible, animal-loving pet owners, effectively turning them into criminals.
The Canberra Liberals will closely examine this radical Green-Labor proposal which seems to be a massive overreach into the lives of decent and hardworking families.
Canberrans adore their animals and overwhelmingly care for them as a much-loved member of the family.
Canberrans would all agree that animal cruelty is abhorrent and should be met with the full weight of the law.
The ACT has taken firm action to introduce tough animal cruelty laws. Currently, a person convicted of animal cruelty in the ACT will face jail time and a $15,000 fine.
The issue we have in the ACT is the Government is unable to enforce animal cruelty laws that already exist.
Rather than providing resources to enforce the government’s own laws, the Labor Party is driving a radical Greens policy that completely overlooks real issues in our suburbs.
For years, the Canberra Liberals have denounced the Labor Party and the Greens for their failure to protect Canberrans and their beloved pets from vicious dog attacks.
It is not reasonable or wise to prosecute and imprison responsible pet owners for a range of matters concerning the daily care of pets, such as failing to walk your dog in a 24-hour period, failing to groom your dog or get its nails clipped, or failing to restrain your dog in a moving car.
It is clear Labor and the Greens believe Canberrans cannot be trusted to do the right thing by their furry friends.
The insult is worse when you consider the Labor-Greens Government’s own record on matters relating to duty of care.
After everything decent and hardworking Canberrans have endured under this government, it is appalling that Labor and the Greens think Canberrans are the ones who can’t be trusted.
New dog laws tabled in the Assembly today will incentivise responsible dog ownership and discourage dangerous dog ownership, Shadow Minister for Urban Services Nicole Lawder said.
Ms Lawder’s new laws reward responsible dog owners by waiving the dog registration fee if owners and their dogs successfully complete approved dog training. The proposed laws discourage dangerous dog ownership by doubling the license fee for a dangerous dog from $750 per year to $1,500 per year.
Ms Lawder is also proposing to remove financial barriers for people who no longer want to own a dangerous dog. Currently, Canberrans have to pay $60.70 to get their dangerous dog off our streets.
“I am very pleased to present new laws today to help keep Canberrans and their pets safe from dangerous dog attacks,” Ms Lawder said.
“We have been listening and consulting with Canberrans across the city who are concerned at the government’s failure to manage dangerous dogs.
“The government’s inaction has led to a surge of dog attacks across the Canberra, resulting in grievous injury to both people and pets.
“City Services Minister Chris Steel has acknowledged the breadth of the problem by admitting the government does not have the capacity to deal with the growing number of dangerous dogs in Canberra. He thinks taxing all dog owners might be the answer.
“Most Canberrans are responsible dog owners who love their pets. We should reward these responsible dog owners, not punish them as Mr Steel would do.
“What I have proposed today are sensible measures designed to keep our furry friends safe, to keep our children safe, and to keep Canberrans safe from dog attacks,” Ms Lawder concluded.