We have said goodbye to 2020, but we keep with us the valuable lessons we have learned from it. ‘Starting afresh’ is what most people will be thinking this early in the year. In our industry that actually means that 2021 will continue as 2020 has ended – with a very strong focus on consumer issues that need to be tackled while we hold the government’s attention on the body corporate sector.
We used the momentum from our government relations work over the past few years to fuel our 2020 State Election Campaign and I am pleased to say that it was our most successful campaign with tangible outcomes. We explained the urgent need to look into statutory home warranty schemes for buildings with three storeys or more, resulting in the newly elected government agreeing to look into the statutory home warranty scheme with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) in a working group.
One of our focus areas will remain the North Queensland insurance affordability and availability issue which we are actively working on together with the National Strata Insurance Taskforce. The recent ACCC report is complex and will take time to absorb but the solution requires a range of actions to be taken right across the Board, with a focus on getting more insurance players into the market to generate competition and affordability.
Given that it has taken three years of hearings to produce a final report, the mechanism now is the state government to gather stakeholders like SCA (Qld) and work through the report to find lasting solutions to fix the problem in 2021 and SCA (Qld) is calling for that Working Group to be formed immediately.
The newly elected Labor Government has committed in writing to further consider a strata manager regulatory framework, a goal SCA (Qld) has pursued for 37 years. There is much excitement at the prospect of finally getting some government minimum standards and entry barriers. This ties in nicely with our new accreditation pathway which has set the benchmarks higher for Continuing Professional Development for every level of accreditation and from 1 July 2021 will also re-jig some of the eligibility criteria. Education Standards is arguably one of the major achievements over the last decade and the Board is keen to have a sound framework that unites our members.
This new year will see many of the 2020 ideas for improved member services implemented. The responsiveness during COVID-19 has ignited the passion of many volunteers, so there is new blood in our Committees and the Board, who welcomed three Directors at the last AGM is working through all the innovative member services we want to realise this year. I am excited to make this year count and be as memorable as last year, with a revived education and advocacy enthusiasm.
I want to take this opportunity to thank our Board, Sponsors, Committees, Members, and the team at SCA (Qld). We have come together to create a resilient organisation and have shown strength in numbers and expertise as a group of professionals. Thank you to our retiring Board Directors from 2020, Ian D’Arcy and Nicky Crane, your contributions were incredibly valuable to our organisation and we are grateful for your dedication to SCA (Qld). Welcome to our new Board Directors Peter Crogan, Chris Irons and Kristi Kinast, I look forward to working with you in 2021! We have big plans here at SCA (Qld) for 2021, and we cannot wait for you to see it all in action. We’ve got expanded member benefits, new member guides and much more in the works – so keep an eye out! Here’s to a great 2021