26 September 2023

Comments invited on retirement village laws

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The Department of Justice and Community Safety is calling for feedback on an Options Paper as part of its review of the Retirement Villages Act 1986.

Minister for Consumer Affairs, Melissa Horne said the Department’s paper, Options for reforming the Retirement Villages Act 1986, built on feedback about the Act which it had received to date.

“It follows the release of an Issues Paper and community forums held in Shepparton, Geelong, and Melbourne, that gave interested parties an opportunity to share their views and comments as part of the review,” Ms Horne said.

“A total of 151 submissions were received in response to the Issues Paper, with almost 85 per cent of submissions received from retirement village residents and related groups,” she said.

“The inquiry aims to update laws about retirement villages to provide stronger protection for often vulnerable consumers, as well as encourage growth and innovation in the sector.”

Ms Horne said this was the first comprehensive review of the Act since 2004 and would examine contractual agreements; disclosure of fees and charges; obligations for repairs and maintenance; as well as rights and obligations when selling a village unit.

The Minister said the Department’s Options Paper presented a range of ways to improve the Act for consumers and providers.

“But not all issues require legislative amendments and, in some cases, improved information, training or accreditation, or the introduction of an independent Ombudsman might be the right solution,” she said.

“What you tell us is important; it doesn’t matter if you respond to all of the options and questions or just tell us the things that are most important to you.”

Ms Horne said all feedback submitted by 26 April would be considered and would inform how changes which impacted retirement villages and their residents were made.

The Department’s 86-page Options Paper, including information on how to have a say, can be accessed at this PS News link.

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