President / CEO Report – Spring 2022
The last few months have been a busy and exciting time for the strata industry and strata communities, coming together on a few issues occurring at a state level, but carrying distinct similarities no matter which jurisdiction they occur in.
One of those has been the continued focus on embedded networks. Used almost exclusively in multi-tenanted buildings or complexes to redistribute energy through a private system, they are very much a strata-specific issue. State governments around the country have picked up on poor agreements and practices which in some instances have left strata consumers worse off than they would have been on the usual energy grid. SCA National has worked closely with each SCA branch and chapter to develop a common position that champions consumer rights, choice and control for strata communities while balancing and continuing the potential benefits of embedded networks. Read about it in more depth in the later pages of this edition.
Another hot topic in strata and an area of critical action for SCA National is on the challenges facing electric vehicle (EV) integration in apartments and other strata buildings. With almost 2,500 Teslas sold in August 2022, and 20 per cent of cars nationwide residing in strata complexes, it’s easy to see the scale and the acceleration of the integration challenge facing strata with EVs. The complex’s electric network capacity, location of chargers, strata committee investment, sign off and management as well as fire risks are all issues to be tackled and advice and recommendations developed. SCA National has set up a working taskforce and is writing a report titled Electric Vehicles in Strata: Charging Challenges, due for release at the end of the year.
As covered in the last edition of Inside Strata, SCA has continued to engage with processes exploring strata insurance practices. SCA has been drawing on the large body of work developed through the inquiry into Northern Australia insurance affordability and availability, the submissions to the Northern Australian Reinsurance Pool inquiries and the SCA commissioned Deakin Report that explored strata insurance in a data driven way. The Treasury Department’s Quality of Advice Review and the Steadfast commissioned Independent Review of Strata Insurance Practices paper undertaken by John Trowbridge will draw to a conclusion before the end of 2022 and SCA is working closely to provide quality inputs into their final stages.
The national ‘Strata Respect’ Taskforce and the national Professional Standards Scheme Taskforce have gathered momentum over the last three months and are moving towards common goals that will positively affect strata managers, committees and businesses across the country by their conclusion. Stand by for more outputs from each of those taskforces early next year.
Three elections in less than a year in our two biggest states (New South Wales and Victoria) and federally have resulted in a huge amount of policy development, campaigning, media attention and government relations activities.
SCA National has been busy deepening relationships with government departments and agencies following its roadmap from its successful federal election campaign.
SCA (Vic) have launched their election campaign, drawing on national policy platforms in the areas of sustainability and building defects, and creating an extremely strong push for improved consumer outcomes on the ground for strata consumers in Victoria.
In New South Wales, where there will be a March 2023 election, the committees and Board have finalised SCA (NSW) overall policy positions and is in the process of developing the election priorities and campaign.
SCA National will be holding the National Principals Forum in Cairns, Qld from 20 – 22 November 2022. Titled Ready, Set, Thrive the conference will give Principals a chance to discuss the SCA Thrive at Work survey, the Strata Respect Taskforce and the electric vehicles document mentioned earlier. It’s a chance to contribute at the cutting edge of the industry and have your views shape real outcomes, all while networking and improving your practice knowledge.
ALISHA FISHER, AUSTRALASIA CEO
CHRIS DUGGAN, AUSTRALASIA PRESIDENT