Calls for action on retirement villages grow louder

Adele Ferguson continues her series of articles on the current state of the retirement village industry in the Sydney Morning Herald.

In December 2014, months after he stepped down as Premier of NSW, Barry O’Farrell wrote to a group of residents at a retirement village telling them he “remained of the view that a parliamentary inquiry was required” into the multi-billion dollar retirement village sector.

He said a parliamentary inquiry was the best vehicle to investigate the sector as it would be public, involve MPs from various parties, under the Parliament’s rules, and its recommendations would have to be publicly responded to by the government within three months.

“I regret that largely due to the winding up of the parliament’s sittings I have been unable to secure such an inquiry,” he said.

Fast forward to now and almost 2000 residents of retirement villages in NSW signed a petition calling for an industry ombudsman and other reforms. So far this has fallen on deaf ears

The ACCC, for its part, has launched an inquiry that it says will look at some of the more serious allegations being raised, including whether contracts are unfair and unconscionable.

Gerard Brody, the chief executive of Consumer Action Law Centre, recently said the retirement living contracts were some of the worst contracts he had seen across many different industries – even worse than complex financial services.

Read Adele’s full article HERE.