Inside Strata – SCA Advocacy Round-Up Autumn 2022

Strata Community Association

The SCA Advocacy Round-Up pulls out the highlights from SCA nationally, in each state and territory and in New Zealand. Summaries are brief and to the point – if you would like more information on any of the actions included below, contact Shaun Brockman, National Policy and Advocacy Manager, shaun.brockman@strata.community.

NATIONAL

The upcoming federal election has been the focal point of SCA advocacy to kick off the year, initiating SCA’s campaign centred around the three major policy priorities of affordability and availability of strata insurance, building defects reform and strata sustainability.

SCA has been intensively engaged in campaigning and lobbying to effectively communicate our asks by securing meetings with government representatives across all the major political parties. At the same time, SCA has successfully engaging the media raise the profile of strata, which has resulted in a number of SCA features in both nationally distributed and industry publications to communicate our priorities.

In line with our focus on the affordability and availability of strata insurance, SCA has been a core contributor to the development of the Reinsurance Pool for Northern Australia, recently having the opportunity to meet with and provide a submission to the Senate Economics Committee, to communicate the needs of strata in the affected areas.

SCA is also continuing to capitalize on the momentum of the ABCB Building Confidence Report recommendations, to address the necessary critical reforms needed to reduce the high prevalence of building defects and restore consumer confidence.

NSW

SCA (NSW) has been working closely with NSW Fair Trading on several important issues relating to the strata sector in the state, including overseeing the implementation of the recommended legislative reforms to the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 & Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 review. In addition, SCA (NSW) has been assisting in the development and implementation of the incoming Strata Hub system, to ensure the system practically meets the needs of Strata Managers and Owners Corporations.

The NSW Government is seeking to integrate comprehensive reforms to the building sector, the most notable of which is the overhaul of the Home Building Act 1989. SCA (NSW) has been engaged in a variety of ways throughout this reformatory process including attending roundtables and consultation contributions.

VIC

SCA (Vic) has hit the ground running to begin the year, engaging in a number of consultative processes and submissions to the Victorian Government on issues including the DELWP Final Recommendations Report on the Embedded Network Review, the expansion of domestic building insurance cover and climate change sustainability outcomes.

SCA (Vic) is also working with RMIT dispute resolution specialist researchers to provide further insight into the best mechanisms for a strata dispute resolution hotline, to relieve the pressure faced by consumers in the state.

QLD

SCA (Qld)’s major policy focus to start the year has been to work tirelessly to ensure the successful implementation of the Reinsurance Pool Bill, engaging in a multitude of advocacy, lobbying and media relation endeavours to establish the best possible outcomes for strata stakeholders in Northern Queensland. Throughout this process, SCA (Qld) has secured a number of meetings with Queensland Government Ministers, advisors and representatives, utilizing the opportunity to raise the profile of strata.

SCA (Qld) is working towards submissions to the Government on a number of strata related issues such as debt recovery, parking and towing, and the full-time implementation of Owners Corporation related COVID-19 measures.

WA

SCA (WA) has been consistently engaged in advocacy with various departments within the Western Australian Government to begin the year, tackling a number of compelling issues including domestic violence, embedded networks, strata tenant behaviour and short-term letting. SCA (WA) has also continued its close relationship with Landgate, the Western Australian Government’s Land Information Authority, meeting twice a month to work through issues such as changing laws and regulations in the state, lot alterations and education of strata career pathways.

SA/NT

SCA (SA/NT) has been focused on securing relationships within the newly established South Australian Government, seeking to continue to raise the profile of strata in the state.

The formation of the SCA (SA/NT) cladding remediation taskforce has resulted in significant outcomes, notably culminating in the completion of a submission to the South Australian Government regarding Cladding Safety and Rectification.

ACT

The laws and frameworks that regulate strata living in the ACT are currently undergoing significant reform. SCA (ACT) is closely engaged with the state Government and other strata industry stakeholders surrounding the ‘Phase 2’ of these reforms, notably including an active role in the Unit Titles Reform Consultation Panel.

SCA (ACT) is also engaged in advocating the Government on the issue of flammable cladding, compelling the Government to follow the lead of other jurisdictions and commit to a loan scheme for affected structures.

TAS

The Tasmanian Strata Titles Act 1998 is currently undergoing a comprehensive review. SCA (Tas) has been involved contributing consistent feedback to the Tasmanian Government, recently providing a comprehensive response to best represent the needs of the industry in the targeted consultation stage of the review. SCA (Tas) will continue to work with the state Government to ensure that the legislative reforms implemented in the future will result in the best possible outcomes for the growing strata environment in Tasmania.

NZ

SCA (NZ) has seen positive outcomes in relation to the advocacy work surrounding the Unit Titles (Strengthening Body Corporate Governance and Other Matters) Amendment Bill.

SCA (NZ) is continuing to work with ministers within the Federal Government of New Zealand to support the introduction of the legislative amendments to the Unit Titles Act 2010, with the bill expecting to be passed smoothly through parliament in the very near future.

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