The owners of Cooloola Waters Retirement Resort say controversial State Government laws requiring freehold property to be repurchased were a key factor behind the villages’ collapse.
The owners of Cooloola Waters Retirement Resort say controversial State Government laws requiring freehold property to be repurchased were a key factor behind the villages’ collapse.

Collapsed Gympie region company blames flawed State law

STATE laws requiring retirement village owners to buy back freehold land they do not own have been blamed for the collapse of a Tin Can Bay retirement village into liquidation.

The operators of Cooloola Waters Retirement Village have pointed to the legislation as a key factor in the company winding up last month, aged care publication Inside Ageing has revealed.

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Housing Minister Mick de Brenni has defended the legislation as one that protects both parties.

The Cooloola Waters Retirement Resort went into liquidation last month.
The Cooloola Waters Retirement Resort went into liquidation last month.

However, the retirement industry’s peak body, Retirement Living, claimed the laws were creating problems.

“The 18-month time frame allows no flexibility and has now caused that operator – who is not the first – to go into administration,” Retirement Living executive manager Ben Myers said in interview with Inside Ageing.

“That business and that village and the residents now face a very uncertain future.”

The laws require village managers to repurchase a property when the resident has been unable to sell it or their resident rights after 18 months.

It was an issue potentially compounded by the COVID-19 crisis.

“In Queensland there is also a real challenge where there is an 18-month standard across the state,” he said.

Minister Mick de Brenni says the State’s legislation protects village managers and residents. (News Corp/Attila Csaszar)
Minister Mick de Brenni says the State’s legislation protects village managers and residents. (News Corp/Attila Csaszar)

“In Brisbane or a metropolitan area, the real estate market is going to be stronger than if you’re in some of the other communities around the state.”

“Nowhere else in Australia, other than through government-approved resumptions to government agencies do you have to surrender your property and your private property rights.

“Buyback legislation in Queensland requires someone at the 18-month mark to surrender their property rights.”

In response, Housing and Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni told the publication the legislation protected a village’s management and its residents.

“[It] provides an independent recourse through QCAT [Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal] to consider issues of operator financial hardship and viability on a case-by-case basis,” he said.

“This provides clearly defined avenues for operators whose financial models are under strain.”

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