News Limited joins village media investigation

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Senior Australian newspaper correspondent Charles Miranda produced a major article (1700 words) yesterday with interviews and photographs spanning several states, concentrating on new laws required to protect village residents.

In the article the Federal Minister for small business (and Consumer Affairs) Michael McCormack told Miranda that reports from across Australia about “rife” industry abuse was “very alarming”.

“It is rife, people are being ripped off and families want to know their patriarchs and matriarchs going into retirement villages are going to be looked after, they are not going to be ripped off and are going to be able to enjoy their twilight years without the worry and stress of filling in a form that they don’t know the ins and outs or whether they have to seek some form of redress through legal entities and we know that’s a slippery path.”

McCormack is interested in unified legislation across states. “We have taken the lead, we might have to take a sterner approach” he said.

The responsible state ministers have indicated they do not wish to give up control of their individual Retirement Village Acts. However their working party on the subject will be reporting back to COAG next August. The NSW Government Greiner Inquiry results are likely to be made public in February.

The media will have much to report on.