The Churchlands MLA, Christine Tonkin returned to our Club, this time as Guest Speaker, and she spoke about the proposed changes to the legislation governing the rights and obligations of Retirement Village operators and residents. Christine gave statistics about the industry, and it houses around 25,000 people in WA – about 65% of the population aged over 65! The average age is in the early 80s, and the average time spent in such villages ranges from 8.3 to 11.3 years. Upfront entry payments for residents span from $143,000 to $426,000. A process of consultation has taken place and the issue that received the greatest number of responses was exiting entitlements (90 responders). Other areas of concern related to the refurbishment of dwellings; conduct on site; and advertising and prices. The proposed changes will create a better balance between the interests of residents and operators, and a major one will be an easier and fairer limit on the time allowed for exit payments to be made i.e. no longer than 12 months. There will be a 2 year transition period on this requirement. If a resident needs to move from a Village into Aged Care then the Village operator must pay a daily fee to the Aged Care facility until the net exit payment is made. Other features are that operators must clearly describe the facilities; key details of the contract must be provided sooner; and Consumer Protection will establish an on-line database containing general information. The redrafting of the legislation is under way and is expected to be before Parliament by the end of 2023. It was noted that Enduring Powers of Guardianship and Powers of Attorney are useful tools, and also that downsizing options in Floreat and City Beach are limited. A problem is that some people entering Villages can’t look after themselves. Where can they go to?