Increased regulation of retirement village contracts and fees is inevitable, the Minister for Aged Care has warned, as the Commonwealth begins to coordinate state governments, the ACCC and ASIC to harmonise legislation.
Minister Ken Wyatt AM has discussed the issue of retirement village fees and contracts with the Prime Minister and it is expected the issue will be raised at the next COAG meeting, though a date has not yet been confirmed.
Following the ABC / Fairfax report staff at the Department of Health were tasked with collating a preliminary summary of laws governing the retirement accommodation industry across all the States and Territories, the Minister said.
“Though they have primary responsibility for regulating this sector, the Commonwealth needs to be assured the overall national system of consumer protection has strong safeguards for older people. This is clearly an area where the Commonwealth cannot act alone,” he said.
“We will need a national coordinated approach, including working with the ACCC and ASIC and the States and Territories, to ensure the adequacy of regulations.”
“Consultation through the Council of Australian Governments may be necessary for unified change in this area.
“I know every government in Australia wants to guard against exploitation, especially of the elderly, and we want to work together with the States and Territories for a fair future.”
“My Parliamentary and local offices have received many calls and emails, asking for action.”
“As I have said, when we look back on all the people who have gone before us, we see the way they have worked, we see what they have contributed. What they deserve is love, support and adequate protection.”
“Our job is to make a difference now and in the future for our valued and vulnerable older Australians. Protecting them is a top priority of the Turnbull Government.”