COTA SA welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the The Retirement Villages (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2023.
COTA SA engages widely with older South Australians across the state, in person and via phone and email. The lived experiences of the diverse community of older South Australians shape our policy and advocacy work and during this consultation period, we have heard the experiences of retirement village residents and have drawn on the insights of key consumer representatives and market and social researchers who have conducted studies on retirement village living.
COTA SA enjoys a close and longstanding relationship with the SA Retirement Villages Residents’ Association (SARVRA).
We have had the opportunity to view the SARVRA submission which provides detailed and thoughtful consideration to the proposed changes in the Retirement Villages (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2023. COTA SA commends it as a thorough critique of the Amendment Bill, including further considerations that call for greater transparency and protections for residents, including those who are currently living in retirement villages across South Australia.
COTA SA acknowledges the efforts of the Office for Ageing Well to genuinely engage with operators, residents, consumer representatives and other key stakeholders in the review of and proposed amendments to the Retirement Villages Act. We acknowledge that many of the recommendations outlined in the report, Review of the Retirement Villages Act 2016 (SA), that pertain to legislative change have been addressed.
In COTA SA’s review of the Retirement Villages Act (2016) SA in 2021, we outlined five central principles that are important to residents and prospective residents, and their families.
We continue to adopt these principles as our frame in considering the proposed amendments.