Port Stephens Park Residents Association has joined Port Stephens MP Kate Washington to welcome NSW Labor’s commitment to establish an Ombudsman service for retirement villages and residential land lease parks.
Across NSW, there are almost 90,000 people living in retirement villages and land lease communities (residential parks), including a significant number in Port Stephens.
Labor’s commitment for the creation of an Ombudsman to oversee these communities exceeds the Berejiklian Government’s announcement of a “retirement village ambassador” who would only be responsible for enforcing a not yet drafted “code of conduct.”
That is despite the recent report by Kathryn Greiner AO recommending better dispute resolution and stating that there is broad support for a retirement village ombudsman after it was suggested in 40 submissions to her enquiry.
An Ombudsman appointed by Labor Government would be empowered to consider disputes related to the Australian Consumer Law, the Retirement Villages Act 1999, the 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 support of the Port Stephens Park Residents Association builds on the support of the NSW Retirement Village Residents Association.
Quotes attributable to Kate Washington MP
“Many people in Port Stephens live in retirement villages and residential parks, so we must ensure that their rights are protected.
“A Labor Government will establish an Ombudsman for Retirement Villages and Residential Parks.
“The Ombudsman will help keep cases out of the Courts, as well as encouraging settlement of disputes between residents and operators in the first instance.
Quotes attributable to Trevor Sullivan, President of the Port Stephens Park Residents Association
“An Ombudsman will be an important protection for residents being mistreated or taken advantage of by unscrupulous operators.
“An Ombudsman will also be able to assist residents to know their rights and identify how best to raise complaints with management.
“Our Association has been working hard to represent residents of residential parks for many years. An Ombudsman Service would greatly assist our members by adding another avenue of support.”
This item was distributed as a media release on Thursday 1 November 2018.