The recent document ‘Village Budgets & Accounts’ published on 11 January 2022 by NSW Fair Trading, clarifies that a group of chairs purchased together and costing $1,000 will be captured in the new Asset Management Plan (AMP).
“The NSW Government Asset Management Plan is laborious and unrealistic,” said Christine Osgood (pictured), National Operations Manager, Living Choice Australia, which operates retirement communities in parts of NSW, Queensland and South Australia. “I do not see how it is going to achieve the intent of the Plan.”
“The AMP has been designed by someone behind a desk who has little idea about the retirement industry and the extent of its assets.”
NSW Fair Trading has extended the deadline for an AMP. An AMP is now required by July, but retirement village providers in NSW still think it is unrealistic.
COVID makes AMPs even harder
“Due to COVID-19, we have had to make assumptions in residents’ homes on their assets. We are required to have an asset register for every asset within a resident’s unit and communal areas within the village. It is a huge undertaking especially with staff impacted by COVID-19,” Christine said.
“It has been a difficult task to identify the assets within the village and a resident’s unit during COVID-19 restrictions and staff requiring to isolate at home.”
The new regulations will create significant administration and is likely to incur more resident/operator tension.
“The regulations do not provide for any future year inflation costs to the $1,000 determined as a major capital item. This means each year as purchase costs increase, more Assets than what are currently required will need to be included in Asset registers. ”
“Once we prepare the first AMP, we are to obtain an independent assessment by an auditor or an independent quantity surveyor and notify residents at least 60 days prior to commencement of the plan and allow them to provide comments. Then we have to prepare a report of all comments received and for each comment explain any revisions of the plan arising from the comments or the reasons we didn’t revise the plan in response to those comments and attach the report to the plan.”
“If we do not have an asset of minimum $1,000 purchase cost in the Asset register, then we cannot charge residents for any repairs or maintenance of that asset.
“I feel the AMP requirements as they currently stand will create unnecessary issues between residents and operators than what the purpose of plan is intended to achieve.”