Current & Recent Activities

The RRVV Committee sends you Season’s Greetings and Best Wishes for the New Year


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.


Retirement Living Council Code of Conduct

On 14 December 2018 the national peak bodies representing retirement living – the Retirement Living Council (RLC) and Leading Aged Services Australia (LASA) – published their “Retirement Living Code of Conduct” following a period of consultation. To read the Code Click Here.

With the assistance of a wide range of contributions from members, the RRVV Committee reviewed a draft consultation version of this Code in August 2018 and found it:

  • Had self-serving statements of purpose and objectives that are more about benefiting owners and operators than residents;
  • Made no clear ethical commitments;
  • Did little to strengthen residents’ freedoms, rights and protections;
  • Contravened the Retirement Villages Act 1986 (Vic);
  • Did little to minimise the problems residents experience;
  • Did not acknowledge that there is dubious practice in the sector and does not commit to taking corrective action;
  • Proposed to set up an alternative dispute resolution system that would be expensive and not able to make binding determinations, and offered no support for the ombudsman that RRVV advocates and which is supported by the Retirement Living Council’s 8 Point Plan;
  • Proposed a supervisory committee dominated by owners and operators (this approach has parallels with the police investigating police malpractice);
  • Allowed code signatories to certify their own compliance with the code and did not apply strong sanctions for code non-compliance.

For a copy of our letter to the peak bodies regarding the consultation draft, Click Here.

We plan to review the published version of the Code in the last two weeks of January 2019.  We are seeking members’ comments and views to assist us in this work.  Please review this latest version of the Code and let us know if you think it meets the needs of residents.  Please email your comments and views to secretary@rrvv.org.au  or post them to RRVV, PO Bx 2402, Caulfield Junction, VIC 3161  to arrive by 15 January 2019.


 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 which you can download: 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 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 claim 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.


Join our Email List!

If you would like to receive emails from RRVV, please click on the green button:

Click Here to Join RRVV Email List