Here you can find links to documents providing guidelines to some of the current issues facing residents of Retirement Villages.
If you need further explanation or help regarding any of these issues, please contact us.
Lobbying your Members of Parliament
There is real momentum for change at the moment, but residents of retirement villages won’t see better laws introduced unless our state members of parliament are motivated to make this change. One way you could help the cause would be for you to contact your local members of both the lower and upper houses to explain why reform of retirement village legislation so necessary. If you are at all like me, you will have no experience in approaching your local members to lobby about anything. You may even feel a little anxious. For people who may feel hesitant, therefore, here are a few hints as to how to go about taking on this challenge.
Meeting With Your Local MPs
- Obviously, the first step is to find out who your local MPs are. Retirement villages are regulated by the Victorian State Government, so stick with State MPs. Go to www.vec.vic.gov.au to find out the name of your upper house and lower house electorates – then the parliamentary website at www.parliament.vic.gov.au/members.
- It helps to find out some information about each of your local MPs before making contact. For example, what political party do they belong to? are they in government or opposition? what offices do they hold? and on what committees do they serve?
- When you initially phone an MPs office, your main goal is to obtain an appointment. There is little point in beginning your spiel, so just emphasise that it is important to you to have an opportunity to talk about your issue with the member. You can, if you wish, follow up this initial call with an email briefly outlining what you want to discuss.
- The time allocated for the meeting will probably be less than half an hour, so it is wise to stick to a few key points. Make a note beforehand of the points that you want to get across to help you stay on track. The recommendations made by the Inquiry into Retirement Housing are a good place to start. Pick the ones you most want the Government to adopt. It might help to have someone with you for support.
- A relationship of some kind with your local MP can be advantageous so follow up your meeting with an email or letter thanking him or her for taking the time to hear your concerns. Or, write a card saying the same thing and send it in the post.
The Consumer Action Law Centre has kindly prepared a Retirement Village Advocacy Kit for the use of retirement village residents who have a complaint that they wish to raise. Click Here to download a copy.
What to look for in a Retirement Village:
Service Fees and the CPI: