Michelle Lensink

Retirement Villages

I seek leave to make an explanation before asking the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, representing the Minister for Social Justice, a question about the review of the Retirement Villages Act.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: On 15 September, I asked a series of questions in this place of the Minister for Social Justice regarding the review of the Retirement Villages Act 1987. It seems that I may have been a little too oblique in my line of questioning, so today I will try to be more direct.

It has been put to me that a draft bill has in fact been prepared for limited circulation; hence, my questions last week to ascertain whether there has been a proper process of consultation, or whether the government in its wisdom has instituted a token consultation process whilst thinking that it already knows the answers. This morning, all members would have received the same letter that I received from the Hon. Stephanie Key in relation to the review of the Retirement Villages Act. Attached to the minister’s letter is a document dated 19 September 2003 entitled ‘Foundation document for the development of legislative amendments to the Retirement Villages Act 1987’. My questions are:

1. Is this foundation document the paper referred to in the June 2003 document entitled ‘Progress report on review of the Retirement Villages Act 1987’?

2. If the minister has not received that document, when does she expect to do so and when will it be released for public comment?

3. Has a bill to amend the Retirement Villages Act 1987 already been drafted and given limited circulation?

4. Did the minister give approval to approach parliamentary counsel for the drafting of amendments to the act? If not, will she be taking any steps to pull anybody into line?

5. If a bill has been drafted, what is the purpose of the foundation document?

6. How much of the subsequent feedback to the government in response to its circulation will be taken into consideration?

7. Furthermore, why has a full and proper process of consultation not been adhered to prior to its drafting and in accordance with the processes outlined in the government’s June document ‘Progress report’?

The Hon. T.G. ROBERTS (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation): I will refer those important questions to the Minister for Social Justice and bring back a reply.

Monday 19 July 2004

In reply to Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (24 September 2003).

The Hon. T.G. ROBERTS: The Minister for Ageing has advised:

1. Is the foundation document the paper referred to in the June 2003 document entitled “Progress report on review of the Retirement Villages Act 1987”?

The Foundation Document is the paper referred to in the Progress Report.

2. If the Minister has not received that document, when does she expect to do so and when will it be released for public comment?

The Foundation Document was released for public comment on 23 September 2003 and has been widely circulated. It was also accessible on the Department of Human Services website.

3. Has a bill to amend the Retirement Villages Act 1987 already been drafted and given limited circulation?

No.

4. Did the Minister give approval to approach Parliamentary Counsel for the drafting of amendments to the Act? If not, will she be taking steps to pull anybody into line?

No.

5. If a bill has been drafted, what is the purpose of the foundation document?

No bill has been drafted.

6. How much of the subsequent feedback to the government in response to its circulation will be taken into consideration?

All feedback received through the public consultations has been taken into consideration and is reflected in the revised version of the Foundation Document.

DHS received over 200 responses to the original Foundation Document. These were catalogued, analysed and discussed with the Retirement Villages Review Reference Group.

7. Furthermore, why has a full and proper process of consultation not been adhered to prior to its drafting and in accordance with the processes outlined in the government’s June document ‘Progress Report’?

Consideration of potential amendments to the Act has been the subject of a very extensive review process. During this process a large amount of time has been devoted to consulting with interested parties, residents and industry. This process has proceeded in an open and public manner. When a draft Bill is eventually prepared, there will be a further opportunity for scrutiny and comment though the parliamentary process.

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