Rates Justice Campaign
The RRVV Rates Justice Group is working hard to get fair rates for all Victorian Retirement Villages. The RRVV wrote to all councils in Victoria at the end of 2013. To read this letter, click on the following link: Letter_to_Councils_12_Dec_13 As part of this campaign, the RRVV also wrote to the then Minister for Local Government: Letter_to_Honorable_Janette_Powell__15_Dec_13 In October 2014 the RRVV President received a letter from the Minister for Local Government in response to an RRVV report on Victorian councils’ treatment of differential rating for retirement villages.
The RRVV organised a petition in 2014 which was presented to the Legislative Council (click here for a copy of the petition form). Approximately 10,000 members signed the petition, a response which appears to have impressed at least some politicians. The signatures were checked by parliamentary officers who determined that 8,349 were valid. The petition was then presented to the upper house of State Parliament on 14 October 2014 by the Hon.E.J.O’Donohue (Eastern Victoria), and “Laid on table”.
The RRVV President had a follow-up meeting with Minister Natalie Hutchins’ advisor in early April 2015 and explained to him that over 10,000 people had signed the petition and their issues need to be heard and acknowledged. The advisor undertook to arrange a meeting with the Minister in June.
In the meantime the RRVV strongly recommends that all retirement villages should get in touch with their local MPs and upper house representatives, and put the issues to them. You may find our suggested template letter useful for this purpose.
Please send a copy of your letter to the Minister, Natalie Hutchins, and a copy to the RRVV, GPO Box 215, Melbourne, VIC 3001.
Also, keep up the pressure on your local council. Have a look, for example, at a recent letter from the Evergreen Retirement Village to their local council.
New Laws for Retirement Villages
In December 2014 the RRVV received a letter from the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria, thanking us for our submission in response to the Regulatory Impact Statement for the proposed Retirement Villages Amendment Regulations. The review panel received a total of 29 submissions covering 49 separate issues. These issues and the panel’s responses are described in the following summary which was enclosed with the Director’s letter. Responses_to_Submissions The new regulations came into effect on 1 July 2014.