SCA is working tirelessly with external parties, including government and consumer groups, to grow their understanding of the strata industry and the actions that we are taking to improve professionalism throughout the industry.
Across the country, there is significant work being done to improve the standards of professionalism maintained by strata managers, and this pace will only continue to grow through the remainder of 2023 and into 2024.
All regions agree there needs to be higher standards for the industry to initiate change, and as the industry body for strata managers, we are leading the way towards a co-regulated model, seeking to have minimum qualifications and registration within many of the regions that have no regulation set by their local government.
We believe in a commitment to high quality, with the ongoing production of Best Practice Guides, and education programs that increase strata manager and owner knowledge. We enable experienced strata managers to join an accreditation pathway to highlight their qualifications and renew annually with minimum continuing professional development (CPD), all whilst abiding by our SCA code of conduct.
We are raising the bar and attempting to give confidence to the industry and consumers when they work with an SCA strata member. There are many inexperienced strata managers who need to have a barrier to entry and ensure they require qualifications and commit to a code of practice to increase the protection of all consumers.
With the growing complexity of strata properties, owners do need to ask about qualifications and experience when they are choosing their next strata manager, in order to find someone with a wealth of knowledge to support them in understanding their requirements and responsibilities.
Strata levies — the state of play and the role of quality strata management
As the cost of living crisis continues to bite across Australia and New Zealand, some focus has fallen on strata levies and trying to understand if they are increasing, why, and by how much. It has presented an opportunity for SCA Australasia to educate owners and the general public about what are the components of strata levies, and what has been typical in terms of increases, as well as the myriad of tasks and expertise a strata manager can provide to a strata complex.
Speaking to ABC Radio National and the Sydney Morning Herald among other high-profile outlets, SCA has explained that increases of 5 to 15 per cent were usual, that increasing insurance costs due to a hardening market and an increase in replacement values, higher costs of building materials and labour and instances of delayed maintenance are mostly to account for the increases.
Electric Vehicles — Phase 2 Challenges Report launched
In May we launched our Electric Vehicles Phase 2: Challenges Report, delivering widespread coverage in more than a dozen media outlets to advance our messaging that strata complexes should not be left behind by governments and infrastructure developers, despite the increased complexity of integrating EVs into many strata complexes.
The report gives an excellent insight into the costs associated with installation, the challenges of providing infrastructure to existing apartments, and considerations to some of the safety elements of EVs.
In what is an incredibly fast-moving space, official guidance and documentation has already been released by the ABCB and others into best-practice for EV integration, which we are working hard to constantly update and include in our member-facing and external facing reports and guides.
Australasian Strata Insights 2022 Report launched
In what has been a busy period for the policy and advocacy team, SCA launched in partnership with the UNSW City Futures Research Centre the Australasian Strata Insights Report 2022, finding that at least one-in-six Australians, and potentially as high as one-in-four Australians live in stratatitled properties.
We all know the benefits of living in strata, and we must use hard and empirical data of the kind that appears in reports like this, and other commissioned research to ensure that governments and the property industry come together to coordinate policy solutions.
For the millions of Australians who currently live in strata, and for the millions who will be fresh entrants in the coming decades, we need to ensure better planning, better building quality and better governing regulation to improve quality of living.
Those solutions need to take into account some of the bigger picture issues like ageing building stock, defects, sustainability, population growth and housing shortages.
We held an incredibly successful conference in Darwin in June with over 400 delegates. With the warm winter location and the local cultural input, everyone left energised about how we can work together to improve standards in the strata industry.
We are excited to announce that next year we will be in Sydney at the International Convention Centre in Darling Harbour on 3-5 July 2024. The Events and Marketing Board Advisory Group are starting our planning now, and we are excited to have any ideas on topics you would like the sessions to cover. We look forward to all our members across Australia and New Zealand joining us for our largest conference held.
ALISHA FISHER, AUSTRALASIA CEO
CHRIS DUGGAN, AUSTRALASIA PRESIDENT