Above: Ken Morrison, national policy director & chief operating officer, Property Council of Australia
By Keryn Curtis
The Retirement Village Association (RVA) and the Property Council of Australia (PCA) have announced this week that they are in discussions aimed at forming a new peak body to represent retirement villages in Australia.
A joint media statement on Monday said the two organisations had been working together for six months and the boards of both organisations had now agreed on five core principles.
Each board has now commenced a formal process of consultation with its respective members to agree details of the proposed new venture which they believe will lead to “a new and powerful voice for retirement villages in Australia.”
RVA’s CEO, Andrew Giles, said in the statement that the two organisations have been working together to identify “opportunities to better represent an industry that has a vital and growing role in the nation’s future.”
“Discussions have been extremely positive and we expect to be in a position to make further announcements next month,” he said
Chief operating officer of the Property Council of Australia, Ken Morrison, said the PCA had identified the retirement village sector as a strategic interest for the organisation.
“We obviously see retirement as a growth sector and lots of our PCA members are already operating in this space,” said Mr Morrison
Mr Morrison said the two organisations had been in discussions since late last year about how they might be able to cooperate and he believed they offered “a high degree of complementarity” with their respective areas of knowledge and capacities.
“The RVA has obviously got the depth of a 30 year industry association in this space. The PCA is much larger and has much stronger advocacy and resources at its disposal.”
“Feedback so far is very positive. The boards are consulting now with their members and there will be a public announcement in October of the final proposal and next steps,” he said.
Mr Morrison said the focus of the PCA in the discussions had been around the retirement living sector, rather than aged care.
“We recognise that retirement villages are in two areas – people services and property. But this is a focus on the retirement living sector, not the aged care sector. Our discussions haven’t included aged care,” Mr Morrison said.
The boards of both the PCA and the RVA have agreed to the following core principles:
• A well-resourced leadership group was required to spearhead advocacy and public policy for the retirement living sector.
• Any new structure must be inclusive and unite the broad church of the industry under a single voice (for-profit and not-for-profit, large groups and single village operators, companies in every region).
• Any new structure would continue the RVA’s positioning as the only national industry association solely focussed on representing the interests of owners, operators, developers and suppliers of retirement communities in Australia.
• Industry self-regulation through a rigorous and relevant accreditation scheme is essential.
• Any new structure should deliver an expanded set of high quality member services to the industry.
About the Property Council of Australia (PCA) [from the PCA Website]:
“The Property Council of Australia is the leading advocate for Australia’s $600 billion property industry. It counts the bulk of the nation’s major investors, property owners and developers – as well as the industry’s professional service and trade providers – amongst its members.
The Property Council’s vision is to become an integral business ally of members.
The Property Council’s mission is to champion the interests of the property sector.
The Property Council has launched a new five year strategy – Powerhouse 3D: New Dimensions.”
About the Retirement Village Association (RVA) [from the RVA website]:
“The Retirement Village Association (RVA) is Australia’s peak body for the retirement village industry.
With an underlying strength of over 800 village and associate members nationally, the RVA continue to play a critical role in the ongoing growth and sustainability of the retirement village industry.
The RVA are the only national organisation solely focused on advocating on the critical issues facing housing and services for older people, supporting and promoting members and the retirement village industry at large.
We are dedicated to proactively generating greater understanding about the exceptional lifestyle opportunities retirement villages provide for older Australians and the positive impacts they have on our communities.”