NSW Labor announces retirement village ombudsman

NSW Labor will establish an ombudsman for NSW retirement village and residential land lease community residents if elected in the 2019 state election.

This one-ups the NSW Government’s announcement in June this year of plans to implement a retirement village ambassador who would be responsible for enforcing a code of conduct. 

The focus on retirement villages comes after a joint ABC and Fairfax Media investigation into the retirement village sector uncovered exorbitant fees and complex contracts that some argue amount to elder abuse.

The exposé prompted the Government to launch an inquiry into retirement villages in NSW.

Although an ombudsman was recommended in forty submissions and was raised at most of the inquiry’s consultative community forums, the inquiry’s final report did not recommend an ombudsman. Instead, the final report recommended that, rather than another body being established, the services provided by Fair Trading should be expanded.