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More funding to protect Queensland seniors against financial fraudsters

Older Queenslanders will be better protected against financial fraudsters, as the Palaszczuk Government commits additional funding totalling $400,000 to the Seniors Enquiry Line.

At a seniors morning tea held during the Government’s Whitsunday Community Cabinet, Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk said the extra funding of $100,000 per year for four years from 2016-17 for the state-wide information and referral service would help to provide scam awareness to older Queenslanders, starting this month.

“The Seniors Enquiry Line, funded by my Government and operated by UnitingCare Community, received more than 11,500 calls from across the state last financial year,” the Premier said.

“All too often, we see older people becoming victims to financial abuse, and this extra funding will support the Seniors Enquiry Line to raise awareness about targeted scams.

“The Seniors Enquiry Line has already begun to build their networks and update their phone scripts, to ensure seniors receive improved support and assistance, if they phone about fraud or scam related issues.

“We want seniors to be armed with this knowledge, as well as support services and available resources, so that they can better protect themselves, and can live actively and happily in their later years.”

Seniors Minister Coralee O’Rourke said financial abuse was a common form of elder abuse that sadly went unreported and unrecognised.

“We know older people can be vulnerable to abuse, but our Government is sending a clear message that any form of elder abuse will not be tolerated,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

“In areas like the Whitsundays, more than 14 per cent of the population are aged over 60, and I want to make sure none of our local seniors fall victim to this horrendous crime.

“Through our new campaign ‘There’s no excuse for elder abuse’, we are raising awareness about common types of elder abuse, as well as prompting seniors to seek support.”

Minister O’Rourke said the Palaszczuk Government had also taken action on recommendations recently made by a Parliamentary Inquiry into the financial protection of seniors.

“Our Government supported 41 of the 43 recommendations made through the Inquiry, which looked at how we can provide better financial protection for older Queenslanders,” she said.

“I’m pleased we’ve already acted on some key recommendations, including launching a new seniors strategy, appointing a taskforce to look at residential options for seniors, supporting seniors with technology, and promoting education and awareness of elder abuse.

“The two recommendations not supported fell within Federal responsibility, and duplicated powers already in place in Queensland.

“We continue to work across Government on recommendations to ensure our seniors are better protected.”