People living in retirement villages will have access to specific and relevant advice regarding dispute resolution under a Liberal and Nationals Government.
The Liberals and Nationals will develop a specific office within the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria to provide independent information, advice, mandatory conciliation, assistance through mediation processes and referrals if the conflict cannot be resolved through the service.
Determinations of the service will be binding.
Shadow Minister for Seniors, Tim Bull, said this was a key response from a review Daniel Andrews has left sitting idle since feedback closed almost 18 months ago in April 2021.
“Disputes arise in any community, and in retirement villages it is important there is a simple and accessible way to resolve them,” Mr Bull said.
The anomaly with retirement villages is complaints are made to management and it is often that the complaint involves management.
“Residents have been saying for some time that they need a faster and more cost-effective avenue for settlement, rather than end up in VCAT or the courts.”
“Despite the sector having raised this on numerous occasions, including the review of the Retirement Villages Act (RV Act) which closed feedback 18 months ago, Labor has sat idle and done nothing except rotate Ministers,” Mr Bull said.
“Not only is this Government not listening, it does not seem to care.”
Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs, Roma Britnell, said she was disappointed Labor had not acted when seniors made it clear it was a high priority with a simple fix.
“We recognise many people living in retirement villages are concerned about their inability to resolve disputes in a timely manner and, in many cases, are concerned of the consequences if they do raise an issue,” Ms Britnell said.
“The Victorian Liberals and Nationals agree that more needs to be done in that space and that is why we will act immediately if elected to Government.”