Review of offences will better protect vulnerable people


The ACT Government is asking Canberrans to have their say on three criminal offences introduced in 2021 to better protect vulnerable people from abuse and neglect.  

Three new criminal offences were introduced in April 2021 to provide additional protections for vulnerable adults with a disability and older, vulnerable members of the community. 

These offences make it a crime to abuse, neglect, or fail to protect a vulnerable person. Someone found guilty of these offences could be imprisoned for between three to five years.  The laws apply to institutions and individuals who provide care to vulnerable adults, including family members and a person in authority.

Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury said, “We’re consulting with the Canberra community and key stakeholders to ensure the new offences are effective, and if there is any room for improvement.

“By assessing the effectiveness of offences, we make sure that people who do the wrong thing can be and are being held accountable.”

The public consultation for the review will run for six weeks until 24 May 2023. Submissions may be made through the ACT Government’s YourSay website:

A report on the findings and recommendations from the review will be tabled in the ACT Legislative Assembly by the Attorney-General.