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New draft Retirement Living Code of Conduct calls for public comment

Public input is being sought on the draft version of a new national Retirement Living Code of Conduct, which aims to set standards “above and beyond” statutory obligations.

There are more than 3000 retirement communities in Australia providing accommodation and services to almost 300,000 people aged 65 and over (Source: DPS)
There are more than 3000 retirement communities in Australia providing accommodation and services to almost 300,000 people aged 65 and over (Source: DPS)

The new Code recognises that retirement communities are governed by a complex and diverse set of Commonwealth, state and territory legislation and regulations, and seeks to establish a commonly accepted standard to help operators provide a trusted and high-quality service to those living in, or considering moving to, a retirement community.

Three of the nation’s peak bodies representing the more than 3000 Australian retirement communities and their owners and operators - the Property Council of Australia, Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) and Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA), supporting the new Code.

Executive Director Retirement Living at the Property Council Ben Myers says the release of the draft was the final step in developing and implementing the new Code.

“The Retirement Living Code of Conduct covers all aspects of a resident’s experience in a retirement community: from signing the contract to move in, right through until the resident’s unit or apartment re-sold,” he explains.

“Before we implement the Code, we wanted to ensure everyone had a chance to see the standards the industry is setting and provide feedback to use, so we can ensure it is as strong a document as possible.”

LASA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sean Rooney says the Code is vital for the industry to set a high level of standards for the marketing, selling and operation of retirement communities, to promote and protect the interests of residents, and provide a clear framework for resolving disputes within a community.

“Once the Code is finalised, our three organisations will promote it to the more than 3000 retirement communities across the country and be strongly encouraging them to sign up and commit to the standards, to demonstrate their commitment to their residents,” Mr Rooney says.

ACSA CEO Pat Sparrow also spoke highly of the standards, saying that a set of standards agreed upon by providers and consumers alike is “an important resource” and will be key to building the trust and transparency that the industry and community rely on.

The draft Retirement Living Code of Conduct is available to view and comment on online, with consultation closing on Friday 20 July.

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