Current & Recent Activities

Election News

As reported in the September edition of the RRVV Newsletter, the Liberal Nationals have announced that they will establish a Retirement Housing Ombudsman, if elected on 24 November. Read the Liberal Nationals’ Media Release.

More recently, the Greens have committed to create a Housing Ombudsman whose remit would cover residents of retirement villages. Read the Greens’ Policy Statement.

Although the parliamentary inquiry into the retirement housing sector recommended that a Retirement Housing Ombudsman be established, to date the government does not appear to have acted on this recommendation.


Annual Meeting 2018

The 2018 Annual Meeting, held at the Victoria University Convention Centre on 8 October, was the best attended AGM ever, with more than 70 members present at the meeting.

Lawrie Robertson presented the President’s Report which reviewed RRVV’s activities during the past year and outlined our priorities for the current year.

The meeting approved increases in membership fees, from $10 to $15 for  individual members and from $15 to $20 for couples, to take effect from 1 July 2019. No changes to lifetime membership fees or Whole of Village membership fees were proposed.

The following nominations for the committee were received:

President:                   Lawrie Robertson

Vice President:          Peter Saalmans

Treasurer:                  Graeme Seymour

Committee member:  Kaye Graham

Committee member:  Mike Leighton

Committee member:  Ruth Peters

Committee member:  Mike Turner

Committee member:  Jo Watkins

All were elected unopposed.


From the Beehive                                                             

To read the full letter from the author of the popular “From the Beehive” column in the RRVV Newsletter, Click Here.


Retirement Living Council Code of Conduct

The consultation period for providing feedback on the draft version of a new national Retirement Living Code of Conduct ended on 31 August 2018. The Code is supported by the three peak bodies representing retirement living owners and operators; the Property Council of Australia, Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) and Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA). It can be viewed at  www.retirementliving.org.au/codeofconduct.

The Property Council has stated that it intends to finalise the Code later this year.

RRVV made a submission jointly with the Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC), Council On The Ageing (COTA Victoria) and Housing for the Aged Action Group (HAAG). RRVV also responded with its own submission to the Property Council analysing the proposed code in detail.    To read these go to our Submissions Page.


 Service Fee Increases for 2018/19

The extent to which operators of retirement villages can increase their service fees or “maintenance charge” without reference to residents is limited to 2.19% for the current financial year (1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019).  Read More


Online Retirement Village Cost Calculator

Macquarie University has made available an online retirement village calculator to enable retirees to estimate and compare the costs of moving into a retirement village.

The calculator, developed by Dr Tim Kyng of the Faculty of Business & Economics, estimates the relative costs of different retirement village contracts – allowing potential residents to compare contracts and their features.

Dr Kyng developed the calculator after having his own frustrating experience while assisting his mother in choosing between retirement villages.

The retirement village calculator project was funded by a grant from Financial Literacy Australia.

To find out more, click on the button:

Retirement Village Cost Calculator


Electricity Supplies in Retirement Villages

Thank you to those members who told us about their views and experiences of their electricity suppliers, in response to RRVV’s request. This information was sought to provide input to a number of consultation meetings held with the Essential Services Commission during the first half of 2018, regarding the regulation of electricity sellers in embedded networks in retirement villages, apartment buildings, caravan parks, etc. Members’ responses indicate that about half the retirement village residents in Victoria are supplied with electricity by village operators via so-called “embedded networks”.

The commission has released its final decision which is intended to ensure that village residents and other customers supplied via embedded networks have similar protections to other energy consumers. The new rules will require village operators who sell electricity to residents to:

  • make sure they get a resident’s consent to an electricity selling arrangement
  • provide a separate bill with specific details to each resident
  • ensure that information provided to residents is clear
  • offer assistance to residents who have difficulty paying electricity bills
  • follow rules for disconnecting residents including those with life support equipment.

The new regulations are expected to take effect from 1 January 2019.

The commission has published a fact sheet, Information for Customers Living in Retirement Villages. RRVV advises members who are supplied with electricity by their village operator  – via an ‘embedded network’ – to check with their manager that the village is registered with the Essential Services Commission for the supply and/or sale of electricity.

On the important subject of electricity prices, retirement village residents may be interested in an independent Victorian Government energy price comparison website. In addition to providing price comparisons the government is offering a $50 Power Saving Bonus payment until 31 December 2018. To claim your bonus, Click Here and follow the website prompts until you get to the Compare Offers screen, where you will see a button to submit your Power Saving Bonus.


Inquiry into the Retirement Housing Sector

A copy of the report of the Government inquiry into retirement housing is available by clicking the following button.

Final Report

The Committee received 766 submissions including many from our members, as well as a submission from the RRVV. Click on the blue button to read these submissions:

Read Submissions

Of the 15 recommendations made, RRVV is targetting four:

  1. A free and expert dispute resolution service with the power to make binding determinations that owners and operators cannot appeal – an ombudsman or similar (Recommendation 15)
  2. Mandatory village accreditation with minimum standards (Recommendation 11)
  3. A comprehensive review of the Retirement Villages Act – not just a patch
    up (Recommendation 2)
  4. Independent formal training of village managers and key staff at a level commensurate with responsibility (Recommendation 12)

Council Rates

Property Council Rates PostcardThe Property Council – the peak body for operators of retirement villages – is conducting a campaign to persuade local councils to introduce differential rates for retirement villages. If you are asked to fill in one of these postcards (on left), please do so, and make sure they are sent to as many councillors as possible. In this way, the RRVV and its members can keep this important issue alive and hopefully bring it o a successful conclusion.

The RRVV supports the Property Council in its endeavours to achieve a rate reduction for all retirement village residents.


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