RVA / Property Council merger: more details emerge

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The RVA member prospectus outlining the merger with the Property Council has been released, detailing reasons and benefits.
It points out that despite the major strides in the last few years the RVA is not well placed to take advantage of the growth opportunities or to deal with challenges, in particular:
• it would take the RVA another decade of organic growth to give the industry the type of representation it deserves
• the RVA finances remain highly dependent on a very small number of large members [and some generous sponsors] It says the benefits to members will be vast, including:
1. a home for the whole industry – inclusive of all players, private and Not For Profit
2. expanded and high quality member services
3. excellence in industry accreditation
4. a powerful industry voice
5. advocacy agenda that boosts members bottom line
It states there will be little material impact on the fees currently paid by members – more will be received for the same investment.
It outlines a number of major challenges that need to be tackled to protect the sector’s future, including:
• overregulation and the maze of harmful and inconsistent state based and federal regulation
• land use planning systems which fail to allow a pipeline of new supply to the market
• increasing tax infrastructure charge threats
• better organized and politically active resident groups
• major barriers to new funding to the sector
• a DMF model that is poorly understood and maligned by some
• an industry image that does not match the vital contribution being made to the community, leaving operators more vulnerable to bad public policy
Major emphasis is placed on increased advocacy strength, including two policy research staff to assist the Executive Director, plus its own dedicated advocacy and policy research fund. The Property Council currently spend $6 million in advocacy including 35 dedicated advocacy staff across 10 offices. They have 92 staff all up. There are also plans for certificate and diploma courses for managers and village staff.
Special mention is made of building the engagement with residents groups as a top priority, a policy commenced by RVA CEO Andrew Giles (pictured) two years ago.
Nationally the Retirement Living Council structure will consist of the Leadership Group of 20 large members plus three small members together with the Executive Director and two policy staff. State divisions will be created for local advocacy and member services, complete with State Committees and events staff.
The RVA members have to formally approve the merger with the intention of the new entity beginning 1 January 2013.

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