Government to set up mandatory Power of Attorney Register

The Council of Attorneys General in Adelaide have announced their plans to create a mandatory online register and set baseline minimum standards for Power of Attorney across the country.

The coalition to fight elder financial abuse, backed by Bauer Media and comprised of the Australian Banking Association, the Seniors Rights Service, Elder Abuse Action Australia, the Older Persons Advocacy Network, National Seniors and the Council on the Ageing, has called on the government to engage in three key actions to more effectively address issues of elder financial abuse, including the:

  1. Standardisation of Power of Attorney laws across the country;
  2. Creation of a mandatory National Power of Attorney Register (POA); and,
  3. Establishment of a safe space for members of the community to report abuse.

The Council’s decision represents a major win in the fight against elder financial abuse in Australia. CEO of the Australian Banking Association Anna Bligh says that such reform should lead to better protections for older Australians and other adults who may need assistance in regard to managing their financial affairs.

Seniors Rights Service has played a significant role in advancing these issues. From carrying out our Elder Abuse Conference in February 2018, to convening meetings between our principal solicitor and high-level staff from the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s office in 2019, our organisation’s contributions formed a major part of the Council’s discussion.