Electric Vehicles (EVs) and EV charging integration into strata is a rapidly emerging opportunity and challenge for the sector, and is one of SCA’s core priorities.
SCA National has formed an EV taskforce with Australiawide representation of strata managers, principals and service providers to guide all of SCA’s research, policy and communications activities on this incredibly important rollout. The recent release of SCA’s Phase 1: EV State of Play Report gained a significant amount of attention by both media and government, with the Phase 2: EVs in Strata Challenges report due out in Q1 2023.
SCA has recently been involved in working closely with the Federal Government’s National Electric Vehicle Strategy (NEVS) team and fed into government consultation processes or held proactive meetings with government in almost every jurisdiction in Australia.
The Federal Government has recently called for submissions to its process ahead of the 2023-24 Budget. SCA National has provided a submission in line with the key priorities we took to the May 2022 Federal Election, including funding and policy reform to improve building quality, sustainability initiatives in strata and improve consumer outcomes in relation to insurance.
The Strata Community Association National Strata Insurance Taskforce (SCANSIT) continues to present a representative and national voice on strata insurance issues. The taskforce has guided input into government activities concerning the Northern Australian Reinsurance Pool, resilience, mitigation and disaster planning, Treasury’s Quality of Advice Review as well as the independent review of strata insurance practices carried out by John Trowbridge.
Australian Capital Territory
The ACT Government is leading the charge in regard to its attention and consideration towards supporting the integration of EVs and EV charging into strata complexes. SCA (ACT) is encouraged by the momentum and action of the ACT Government, recognising the critical need to provide support to strata schemes in relation to EV charging integration as part of an overall transition to Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEVs).
SCA (ACT) is engaged with various governmental departments, notably including Minister Rattenbury’s office, to ensure that there is a comprehensive understanding of the challenges associated with this complex issue, and that current and future strata residents that are seeking a transition to EVs are supported in the best capacity.
The Unit Titles Reform process will see lots of activity through 2023 as the process moves from the stakeholder consultation phase towards legislative drafting and review over the course of the year. The culmination of more than two years of work, SCA (ACT) will continue to work with government to ensure they are responsive to law reform in the strata space as the changes are integrated and will be communicating with members at every step of the way through 2023.
New South Wales
The NSW Government has continued on its trajectory of comprehensive reforms to the strata and property sector in the state. SCA (NSW) has contributed heavily to a number of consultations and legislative reviews surrounding increasing consumer confidence in the NSW building industry, ensuring that strata residents feel safe and supported in Australia’s largest strata jurisdiction.
There has been significant attention given to making reforms to NSW’s governing strata legislation and regulation with SCA (NSW) at the centre of that consultation. In addition, SCA (NSW) has made a significant contribution to other reform processes including the Home Building Compensation Scheme, Property and Stock Agents legislation and the three Bills that make up the NSW Building Law Reform process.
SCA (NSW) continues to work on a number of projects and is working to support great outcomes for consumers through working with the NSW Property Services Commissioner and NSW Building Commissioner, both of whom share SCA (NSW)’s passion and motivation for consumer protection, strata education, and the overall progression of the strata industry in NSW.
The royal ascent of the Unit Titles (Strengthening Body Corporate Governance and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2022 last year has resulted in a flurry of activity for the strata industry in New Zealand, as the sector prepares for the overwhelming raft of positive changes that are incoming.
A recent commencement order has identified what elements of the new legislation will be implemented and when, coming in tranches beginning on Tuesday 9 May 2023. SCA (NZ) will continue to engage members and provide concrete details of all the upcoming developments, through frequent communications and a series of informative webinars throughout 2023.
SCA (Qld) is pleased to see the hard fought for funding to Queensland’s Commissioner’s Office being rolled out with new hires taking place at the moment. This is a huge win and will help enhance the day to day efficiency of our sector. SCA (Qld) believes there will be multiple strata related bills passed this year and is looking forward to fighting for them to be the best they can possibly be.
South Australia / Northern Territory
South Australia’s core pieces of strata legislation, the Community Titles Act 1996 and Strata Titles Act 1988 are currently undergoing significant reforms, with the Statutes Amendment (Community and Strata Titles) Bill 2022 and draft Community Titles (Resolutions) Amendment Regulations 2022 outlining significant and robust changes to the strata landscape.
Throughout an extensive consultation and submission process, SCA (SA/NT) has been working closely with the SA Government, members, and SCA’s policy team to ensure that the frameworks that govern strata living in South Australia are appropriately strengthened.
We know that strata in Tasmania is growing at such a fast pace that its growth statistics are on par with some of Australia’s largest jurisdictions. SCA (Tas) remains attentive to some of the critical underlying strata issues that still subsist in the state, including widespread strata underinsurance and the shortage of long-term housing options.
This year, SCA (Tas) is hoping to reignite the strata reform process that began in 2022 with SCA’s submission to the Strata Titles Act 1998 reform process and continue to push for improved outcomes for the rapidly increasing amount of strata residents and managers in Tasmania.
Much of SCA (Vic)’s attention recently surrounded engagement in a successful campaign for the Victorian state election, based on the established core priorities of sustainability, consumer protection and rights, and strata building defects. SCA (Vic) gained strong support from media throughout the campaign that included coverage in Domain and ABC Radio, alongside strong support from the Labor and Greens parties for SCA (Vic)’s policy proposals for critical improvements to the sector.
SCA (Vic) is continuing with its post-election roadmap into the early stages of 2023 and beyond, including continuing focus on engagement with consumers groups and relationships with government that were formed throughout the campaign, in the hopes of pushing the agenda forwards towards the formation of a foundational strata helpline.
Energy Policy has remained a core advocacy focus for SCA (WA) over the past months, as the WA Government engages in its Energy Transformation Strategy. SCA (WA) has recently provided expert advice on the topic of Embedded Networks, communicating its viability in the realm of energy affordability and cost stability for strata residents.
SCA (WA) also continues to work closely alongside WA’s Land Titles Office (Landgate), through its strata working group, engaged on a number of high priority strata regulatory and legislative issues that are seeking to improve administrative processes for strata managers and residents.