The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will launch an investigation of the “more serious matters being raised” in the Aveo retirement village scandal.
ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said there also needs to be a wider review of the sector, which should involve the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and state regulators.
The investigation comes on the heels of the many complaints and calls for action made to the Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt.
Mr Wyatt believes a national approach to regulating the aged care sector is required.
“This is clearly an area where the Commonwealth cannot act alone,” he said.
“Though they [the states] have primary responsibility for regulating this sector, the Commonwealth needs to be assured the overall national system of consumer protection has strong safeguards for older people.”
There are three main areas the ACCC will investigate: misleading conduct, unfair contract terms and unconscionable conduct.
The spotlight has been on the retirement village industry after a media investigation into questionable practices. The investigation uncovered dodgy dealings, particularly at Aveo-owned operations, which include turning out residents to collect hefty exit fees, price gouging, misleading advertising and marketing promises, and breaches of safety and emergency service protocols.
Former ACCC chairman Allan Fels says that the retirement village scandal is the greatest untouched consumer protection issue of this century.
Read more at The Australian Financial Review
What do you think should happen to Aveo? Do you have family who are, or are you, affected by this scandal?