NSW LABOR TO ESTABLISH RETIREMENT VILLAGE OMBUDSMAN

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NSW Labor will establish an ombudsman service for NSW retirement village and residential land lease community residents.

Labor leader Luke Foley said the ombudsman will provide greater protection for the almost 90,000 people in NSW who currently live in retirement villages and land lease communities (residential parks).

Retirees have expressed their dissatisfaction with the Berejiklian Government’s announcement of a retirement village ambassador who would be responsible for enforcing a code of conduct- of which the scope and powers are yet to be revealed.

That is despite the Greiner Report recommending better dispute resolution, even stating that there is broad support for a retirement village ombudsman after it was suggested in 40 submissions and was raised at most of the communities forums. The NSW Government commissioned the report following a Four Corners expose into the retirement village sector.

NSW Labor would instead deliver an ombudsman who can consider disputes related to the Australian Consumer Law, Retirement Villages Act 1999, Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013, and associated regulations.

The Ombudsman will also report to the NSW Parliament identifying systemic problems in the sector. The role will be critical in ensuring good outcomes for residents into the future.

The announcement has the support of the retiree community along with stakeholders including the Retirement Village Residents Association.