Health Alert (Australia) - August 18, 2014


In This Issue:

Judgments; Legislation; and Reports.

Excerpt from Judgments:

Queensland -

25 July 2014 (published 8 August 2014) - Cotterell v Redcliffe Assembly [2014] QCAT 357 -

The applicant resides at Peninsula Palms Retirement Village and was concerned about how the operator of the village, Redcliffe Assembly, prepared its annual budget.

The applicant firstly claimed that a number of items on the budget list are not 'general services' under the Act and residents should not be required to pay for them. The Tribunal agreed with the applicant that 'Advertising and Promotions' and 'Subscriptions and Professional Fees' are not general services supplied or made available to residents. Although residents may indirectly benefit from staff attending seminars, the costs of education should fall upon the employer or the staff member receiving education because they are the primary beneficiaries. Accordingly, the Tribunal ordered that these items be removed from future budgets. By contrast, 'staff sickness and accident insurance' was considered a general service because the village needed staff to operate.

The applicant also claimed that the budget was not sufficiently transparent. As a result, she claimed that the budget was likely to include costs associated with co-located facilities, which was a financial burden that should not be placed on the residents. The Tribunal noted that an object of the Act is disclosure of information to residents and ordered that future budgets must demonstrate that any anticipated costs associated with non-village facilities are excluded. Further to ensuring that budgets are transparent, the Tribunal also ordered that future budgets must state whether there is a more cost-effective alternative to any annual general service charge....

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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