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Sweeping reforms to NSW Retirement Village industry

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The retirement living industry today welcomed the NSW Government’s response to Kathryn Greiner’s inquiry into the NSW retirement village sector as an important step to provide certainty and clarity to both the retirement village sector and residents. The Greiner Review came after a joint investigation by the ABC's Four Corners and Fairfax Media into retirement village company Aveo that uncovered exorbitant fees and complex contracts, described by some residents as "financial abuse of the elderly". After reviewing 500 submissions, Ms Greiner handed the NSW Government 17 recommendations in a report in December. The NSW Government today announced it would accept the majority of the proposals, whilst a "small number" of recommendations would be "accepted in principle" with further consultation required. 

The NSW Government will also appoint a dedicated Retirement Village Ambassador to advocate on behalf of residents, and report back on key issues. In addition, the Government will consult with the sector on the potential for further reforms to improve the professionalism of operators and increase certainty of costs. More details can be found here.

The Greiner review found the operation of the retirement village sector could be improved in three key areas, including transparency, accountability and the effectiveness of dispute resolution. Steps will also be taken to set clearer cost expectations for consumers and better align operator and resident interests. The government also said it would undertake a comprehensive review of existing powers and penalties under the Fair Trading Act in order to strengthen and enforce compliance within the sector. 


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