Hunter retirement village residents will be the big winners under a series of proposed NSW Liberal National Government reforms to the sector, Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC said today.
The reforms are based on the outcomes of the recent state-wide Inquiry into the sector led by Kathryn Greiner AO.
“Hunter residents heading into retirement will benefit significantly from these reforms, which put the power back in their hands,” Mr MacDonald said.
“This is about ensuring more transparency so they genuinely have a fair go if they choose to move into a retirement village.”
Mr MacDonald said the Government welcomed the “Greiner Report”, and will take action to implement the recommendations.
“These reforms will put consumers first, and see greater protections for residents through increased transparency, improved dispute resolution and more certainty around costs.”
The package of reforms includes:
- implementing a mandatory Code of Conduct to set the standard for retirement village operators and to stamp out unscrupulous behaviour;
- introducing strong transparency measures to improve disclosure of key contract terms, exit fees, and to drive competition in the sector;
- improved dispute resolution services for residents; and,
- measures to help clarify responsibilities with respect to ongoing maintenance costs.
The NSW Government will also appoint a dedicated Retirement Village Ambassador to act as a voice on behalf of residents, and report back on key issues.
Mr MacDonald said there are already more than 55,000 residents living in NSW retirement villages; however, this number will continue to grow significantly due to the ageing population.
“Residents in the Hunter deserve to be able to live independent and fulfilling lives in their chosen retirement village, which is why it’s so important we improve our laws to increase confidence in the sector now.”
For more information on the NSW Government response, or to read the “Greiner Report”, visit fairtrading.nsw.gov.au