25 July 2017
Media Release - #2017103, 2017

Consumer Ministers to consider retirement villages

RETIREMENT villages and recent allegations of unfair practises will be discussed at a meeting of State and Territory Consumer Affairs Ministers, Small Business Minister Michael McCormack has announced.

“I was concerned about recent media reports drawing attention to alleged unfair practises being imposed on residents of retirement villages,” Mr McCormack said.

“Like many Australians, I have family and friends in these villages. As the Federal Minister responsible for Consumer Affairs, I want older Australians to get the care and residences they deserve without unnecessary stress or worry.

“So I am going to work with my State and Territory counterparts to discuss this important issue.

“Recent reports include overly complex contracts, excessive fees and charges, high-pressure sales tactics, high exit fees and exorbitant refurbishment costs – which can impact on older Australians, their families and carers.”

Mr McCormack said although retirement villages are regulated by State legislation, retirement village contracts are also subject to the Australian Consumer Law, which prohibits unfair contract terms.

“It is important that when older Australians make the life-changing decision to enter a retirement village, they can be confident they have made the right decision and are supported by strong consumer protections.”

Mr McCormack will raise the issue of retirement villages at an upcoming meeting of Consumer Affairs Ministers in Melbourne on 31 August 2017.

The Ministers will consider the effectiveness of current legislation and enforcement arrangements covering the retirement village industry.