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Retirement Villages

6 May 2021

The Hon. J.A. DARLEY (14:52): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Treasurer a question about the implementation of the government's decision in respect of retirement villages.

Leave granted.

The Hon. J.A. DARLEY: The government has approved the recommendation of the joint select committee on valuation policies and charges in retirement villages to rectify the inconsistent valuation of retirement villages in South Australia. I understand that this policy is due to be implemented in the 2021-22 financial year. However, I have concerns that no action has been taken to address the additional charges that residents incurred due to the previous inconsistent policy.

It is my understanding that residents faced an additional cost of approximately $300 per annum for multiple water supply charges and some sewerage charges between 2015 to this financial year. My questions to the Treasurer are:

1. Approximately how many thousand residents will benefit from this reversal of the valuation policy?

2. Does the government intend to reimburse residents for the additional costs they incurred as a result of the previous inconsistent policy back to July 2015 and, if not, why not?

The Hon. R.I. LUCAS (Treasurer) (14:54): I will take advice on the detail of the honourable member's question, but by and large the government has been seeking to implement the recommendations of I think it was a joint select committee upon which the Hon. Mr Darley and a number of other members sat. That's the government's intention. I don't recall in that committee report, signed by the Hon. Mr Darley, a request or submission to reimburse people back to 2015 but I might stand corrected. If it did, I will correct the record, but we are seeking to implement the principal decisions made by that joint select committee.

We have sought to fix many of the problems of the former Labor government. We don't have unlimited funding available. The problem identified by the member, which goes back to 2015 under the terms of the former Labor government, I'm not sure what the cost of that would be to the taxpayers of South Australia but I'll take advice on the details of the honourable member's question and bring back a reply as soon as I can.



8 June 2021

In reply to the Hon. J.A. DARLEY (6 May 2021).

The Hon. R.I. LUCAS (Treasurer): I have been advised:

1. Approximately 12,000 residences within retirement villages will benefit from the policy to value all retirement villages as a single village rather than as multiple independent living units within that village.

2. It is not intended to reimburse residents for state government charges incurred from July 2015 as a result of the previous valuation practices.

3. Backdating of state government fees and charges fees to July 2015 (for example SA Water bills) would be a significant and costly exercise requiring billing system changes and difficulties in identifying the occupant of the independent living unit at that time.

4. It is expected that overall water bills for those migrating to single value villages will be lower as SA Water's annual fixed water supply charge of $271.40 will now be apportioned amongst units within a village, rather than each unit having to pay the full amount.