COVID-19 Rules and Living in a Retirement Village or Manufactured Home Park

doodle of a street with houses

The rules, regulations and guidelines for what to do and not do since COVID-19 entered our lives have been … complicated! 

If you live in a retirement village or a manufactured home park, you might be wondering what laws relate to you?!?

There are particular guidelines and rules for aged-care facilities and for a variety of general areas (think shops, cinemas, gyms and hospitality venues) but, at this point (1 February 2022), there are no government directions that specifically affect retirement villages or manufactured home parks. This means parks and villages will need to apply the general guidelines to their particular facilities.  

We have put together this general information to help you understand your rights in a village or park. For free legal advice, please contact the Queensland Retirement Village and Park Advice Service (QRVPAS) at Caxton Legal Centre on (07) 3214 6333. 

Vaccination I have a medical exemption, but I’m being excluded from accessing services in my park or village

New health directions came into effect on 24 December 2021. These restrict unvaccinated people from attending some hospitality and other venues. This might include areas such as dining halls in your park or village. It may even extend further, depending on whether other areas are covered by a liquor licence.  

However, if you have a valid medical exemption, you should not be stopped from attending these places even though you are not vaccinated. Under the Queensland Government guidelines, a person who has evidence of a medical contraindication must be treated as if they are fully vaccinated.  

How do I prove that I have a medical contraindication?

A medical contraindication can be proven by having your doctor complete an immunisation medical exemption form from the Australian Immunisation Register. This will be recorded on your immunisation history statement and COVID-19 digital certificate. You will then need to show your COVID-19 digital certificate or immunisation history statement to the manager or caretaker at your park or village.  

If the village continues to refuse you access, this may be inconsistent with your rights under disability and anti-discrimination law including the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth), which applies nationally, and the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld). In broad terms, these laws provide that a person should not be treated less favourably because of their disability or impairment. Disability and impairment have broad definitions that include some health conditions.  

I’m still being excluded 

You can book in for a free appointment with a lawyer at Caxton Legal Centre’s QRVPAS by calling (07) 3214 6333 and explaining that you live in a manufacture home park or retirement village. 

It may be that we recommend that you make a complaint to the Queensland Human Rights Commission (QHRC) under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld). The time limit to make a complaint is generally one year from when the village or park refused you access to the facility.   

You may also have the right of complain to the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth). The time limit to make a complaint to the AHRC is generally six months from the date of the conduct occurred that is subject to the complaint. 

About the Queensland Retirement Village and Park Service

QRVPAS is a free legal service that aims to help residents: 

  • understand their rights and responsibilities under the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (Qld) and the Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003 (Qld)
  • obtain the knowledge and skills to present their interests to village and park operators and resolve disputes
  • have increased access to appropriate legal information and advice.

You can also organise a free community legal education session for your park, village or community group. Call (07) 3214 6333 to book in! 

For more information, including factsheets and videos, visit our website.

What’s a manufactured home park?  

This term is given to a housing estate where the houses are technically capable of being relocated and where the resident owns the house and rents the site. They are often called ‘over 50s Lifestyle Resorts’.