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Community groups key to seniors staying engaged

17 August 2018

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is getting behind Seniors Week (18-26 August) by highlighting the importance of incorporated associations in the community, and reminding consumers of recent changes to home care funding.

Fair Trading Acting Executive Director Sharon Simmers said incorporated associations played a vital role in helping older Queenslanders stay connected and engaged.

“There are more than 22,500 incorporated associations in Queensland right now, including social or hobby groups, sporting clubs and community organisations,” Ms Simmers said.

“Seniors are a vital force behind many of these organisations, volunteering their time, energy and expertise to enhance their local communities.

“Being a part of one of these groups is a great way to pursue an activity you are passionate about and to meet new people who share your interest.

“Incorporation provides a blueprint for running a non-profit group that is transparent and allows for fair representation of every member through the regular election of a management committee.

“If you are thinking of starting a group, the OFT is here to help.”

Ms Simmers said the OFT published a comprehensive guide to starting and operating an incorporated association, which was available by calling the OFT or via download from the OFT website.

“The OFT website also includes a set of model rules and advice for associations on managing any disputes within the group,” she said.

“Setting up as an incorporated association puts in place a set of rules which outlines the way your group will operate, so it can get on with the important business of the organisation.”

Ms Simmers also said seniors receiving or considering aged care delivered at home should be aware of recent Commonwealth Government changes.

“Known as Consumer Directed Care, the changes are aimed at giving seniors more control over choosing their provider and care package,” she said.

“The Australian Consumer Law applies to goods and services purchased under these care packages and it provides protections against businesses making high-pressure door-to-door or telephone sales, giving false or misleading information or having unfair terms in their contracts.”

Further information on changes to home care can be found on the Australian Government’s My Aged Care website at www.myagedcare.gov.au or via the OFT website at www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading.

Further information on incorporated associations is available on the OFT website at www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading or by phoning 13 QGOV (13 74 68).