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LIV President's Blog
May 20, 2011

Caring for Our Older Australians

The increasing number of older Australians will result in further responsibilities for our profession and our clients as we seek to protect their legal rights. The Victorian Law Reform Commission (VLRC) reports there are already nearly 80,000 people with significant cognitive impairment in Victoria and that is predicted to grow to nearly 125,000 by 2030. The VLRC is currently reviewing guardianship laws and submissions to the review close today. In addition, the LIV will provide the latest information for all practitioners who have older clients at our LIV Elder Law Conference next Friday, 27 May.

VLRC consultation paper on guardianship laws proposes the introduction of new guardianship laws rather than amending the current Guardianship and Administration Act, which has been amended nearly 30 times since 1986.

The LIV will make a submission on the paper, and the final report to the Attorney-General including recommendations for new laws is due in December.

As our lawyers, particularly those practising in family law, property law and succession law and country and suburban practices, are acutely aware, we are seeing more and more clients with capacity issues including dementia, Alzheimer’s and acquired brain injuries, as well as people with intellectual disabilities.

Next Friday's LIV conference on elder law will include a welcome from LIV Elder Law Committee chair Phil Grano OAM from the Office of the Public Advocate. There will also be sessions with the CEO of the Council on the Ageing Victoria, Sue Hendy, and the Productivity Commission on its draft report on caring for older Australians. Legal and financial planning for lifestyle changes due to ageing, grandparenting issues and child protection will also be covered.

I'm sure our hypothetical discussion on preventing elder abuse, moderated by former LIV president Bill O’Shea, will be informative and entertaining. The panel includes a magistrate and representatives from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, Australian Bankers Association, Office of the Public Advocate, Victoria Police’s elder abuse awareness program and a trustee company.

Issues to do with ageing will confront us all, personally and professionally. I recommend our Elder Law Conference as a one-stop shop for information and further advice.

Comments

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PETER SHERMAN
TODAY'S SUPREME COURT'S DECISION IN "PJB" CONFIRMS YET AGAIN THAT AN "EXTERNAL" REVIEW OF VCAT IS LONG OVERDUE !
20/07/2011 1:47:53 PM

PETER SHERMAN
I DOUBT VERY MUCH THE "ONE-STOP" BRANDING- VCAT WAS INTENDED TO BE ONE TOO, AND WITHOUT THE "STAR CHAMBER" OF ITS GUARDIANSHIP "LIST". LIV AND ALL OF US SHOULD BE EXTREMELY VIGILANT NOW, CONSIDERING THAT THE "RED HERRING" OF "PROTECTION" FROM "ABUSE" IS INTENDED TO DISTRACT FROM THE ACTUAL PROTECTION OF THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF THOSE WHO CAN NOT DO SO FOR THEMSELVES, NOT UNLIKE REALLY TO WHAT WAS ALLOWED TO OCCUR IN THE 1930-S EUROPE.

THE LAW REFORM COMMITTEE OF OUR PARLIAMENT HAS NOW LAUNCHED A NEW INQUIRY INTO ACCESS TO THE COURTS BY PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY, AND THEIR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS, TO PROTECT THEIR RIGHTS.

THEY WILL ALL NOW NEED THE CHARTER STATUTE MORE THAN EVER BEFORE.

AT WHAT PRICE IS OUR FREEDOM ?!
21/05/2011 11:35:48 AM

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