Regulation creep is the new normal for the Retirement Village sector

Having been fortunate to hear direct from the best in the business legal representatives around the nation at our Village Professional Development Days, I can confidently tell you that never before in my family’s 30-plus year history in this sector have we seen the type and volume of regulatory reform as we are seeing today!

In Queensland, law firm MinterEllison shared that Stage 2 of a three-part QLD regulatory reform commenced just last week.

In New South Wales, MinterEllison shared a very similar message that operators should be focusing on compliance with Part 2 amendments.

They also encouraged participants to respond to the government’s call for feedback from the retirement village sector and the community about how the new asset management plan commitments should be implemented in the regulations.

You can find details of the discussion paper and submission instructions HERE.

In Victoria, law firm Russell Kennedy explained an issues paper published by the Minister for Consumer Affairs on 25 October 2019 has been released to encourage operators and residents to submit responses to 51 questions.

Community forums will be held in several locations during November. Submissions need to be submitted by COB Friday 6 December 2019. You can find the issue paper, community forum details and submission instructions HERE

In Western Australia, law firm Jackson McDonald highlighted that so far in 2019 we have seen 1 of 6 Consultation Regulatory Impact Statements (CRIS) released dealing mostly with the description of a Retirement Village, advertising and pricing. 

The second CRIS is due this month and could deal with any number of these issues including:

  • buyback regimes
  • funding capital works
  • maintenance and repairs
  • resident input into use of operating budget
  • refurbishment
  • memorials
  • village redevelopment and termination process. 

Note however, the sector in WA is united and has requested the Government take a slightly different approach to the reforms by developing a stakeholder consultative committee to engage with retirement village reforms over the next two years.

There is more to come with SA set to commence their Act review process in early 2020. This is certainly not the end to the reforms across the nation. 

I urge all operators to be in touch with their industry leading solicitors and ensure that they are signed up for their newsletters, and keep an eye on the relevant department websites regularly as much of this reform is sneaking up on operators.

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