Consumer Action responds: Consumer Ministers set to consider retirement villages

Consumer Affairs Ministers are set to discuss the state of retirement village regulation across Australia at the end of August. Consumer Action Law Centre CEO Gerard Brody welcomed the news, saying that stronger protections for residents were long overdue.

‘We have long been hearing horror stories from residents about one-sided contracts, unfair fees and charges, and the challenge of getting complaints dealt with. It is fantastic news that Consumer Affairs Ministers from across the country will be meeting to discuss this important issue’, said Mr Brody.

According to a statement from the Minister for Small Business the Hon Michael McCormack MP, the Ministers will consider the effectiveness of current legislation and enforcement arrangements covering the retirement village industry.

‘Residents want to see this complex and patchwork system of regulation overhauled. We need simpler contracts, fairer fees and access to an ombudsman to resolve disputes quickly and cheaply. Older Australians deserve to be able to choose the retirement housing option that best suits them without having to worry about being taken advantage of’, said Mr Brody.

Mr Brody said that consistent and strong protections were needed for residents in all forms of retirement housing across Australia.

‘It shouldn’t matter if someone chooses to retire in Melbourne or the Sunshine Coast. They should have the same rights and protections wherever they choose to live,’ he said.

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