Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 6 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 2812..
(8) Why is it that under the Code of Practice, only three residents are required to form a quorum in a residents meeting and how is this number deemed acceptable.
Mr Stanhope: The answer to the member's question is as follows:
(1) No. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT), in administering the Retirement Village Industry Code of Practice (the Code), allocates particular aspects of its regulation to the various work units of the office depending on the subject matter involved.
(2) The OFT undertakes a range of proactive and reactive activities in relation to the Code. Proactive compliance activities are conducted by the OFT Compliance Unit. Educational activities are prepared and undertaken by the OFT Business and Community Relations Unit and initial responses to consumer complaints are undertaken by the OFT Advice and Complaints Unit. Internal processes within the OFT ensure that any systemic issues are brought to the attention of senior management and acted upon.
(3) The OFT runs a small but regular compliance program for retirement villages. It focuses on the few issues that have arisen by way of complaints. In addition to this, information has been sent to retirement village operators by way of questionnaires to ensure that their practices are in accordance with their obligations under the Code. The OFT is also in the process of updating and reprinting the 'Retirement Village Handbook' and is producing a brochure for display in retirement villages to remind residents of their rights under the Code.
(4) No. Complaints from residents of villages is only one way, and augments the processes mentioned in response to question 3 above, in which compliance with the Code is established.
(5) Under the Fair Trading Act 1992 (the Act) the Commissioner for Fair Trading can request an undertaking from a retirement village if the Commissioner believes that the village has been operated in contravention of the Code. If the operator of the village does not give the undertaking requested an application can be made to the Magistrates Court for an undertaking in the terms previously requested. If the Commissioner considers that any undertaking that has been received is breached the Commissioner may apply to the Magistrates Court for an order enforcing the undertaking.
(6) No enforcement action has been taken by the OFT in relation to the Code. Where issues have arisen they have been resolved by discussions between the affected party/s, the village operator and the OFT.
(7) No action has been taken.
(8) The Code was developed in close consultation with the industry and village residents. The quorum of three residents for a meeting was set as a minimum. The Code does, however, allow each village to set a higher quorum number in their rules. Where the retirement village is regulated by the Unit Titles Act 2001 there are overriding quorum requirements in that Act.
(Question No 1530)
Mr Cornwell asked the Minister for Urban Services, upon notice, on 5 May 2004: