SCA has been focused on driving growth across all jurisdictions, expanding resources in order to provide the appropriate level of support, guidance and advocacy that is required to navigate the complexities of the contemporary strata landscape.
SCA has recently been responsible for the release of two compelling industry report reports. The first, released on 31 May, was SCA’s Phase 2: Electric Vehicles in Strata Challenges Report1, a comprehensive analysis of the specific issues relating to the integration of EVs into strata. SCA’s Australasian Strata Insights Report 20222 was then released on 14 June, featuring a data-driven snapshot of the strata industry in Australia and New Zealand. These reports are invaluable tools, that may be utilised extensively in policy and advocacy efforts moving forward.
In June of this year, SCA also held its 2023 National Conference in Darwin, NT with the theme, ‘Standards Matter,’ focused on setting high standards for the strata industry with speakers covering a range of topics for participants.
Australian Capital Territory
After several years of consideration, the Unit Titles Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 was recently passed, with the significant reforms involved expected in the second half of 2023.
As a key contributor in shaping the reforms throughout the development of the legislation, SCA (ACT) is excited to see key changes including changes to exemptions from insurance requirements, improved insurance excess claim recovery and sustainability infrastructure installation equitability implemented. SCA (ACT) is committed to continue close collaboration with the ACT Government, to ensure the successful introduction of the reforms.
New South Wales
A new government in NSW has meant shifting portfolios, with SCA (NSW) focused on the formation of new relationships with key government representatives and stakeholders, communicating the size, importance and value of the strata sector. This has notably included engagement with the Hon Anoulack Chanthivong MP, Minister for Better Regulation and Fair Trading.
A changing government has also meant reconsideration of pending strata reform measures in the state. SCA (NSW) expects a substantial amount of further consultation to be undertaken this year, in the hope of introducing a large tranche of reforms to provide balance to several important aspects of the contemporary strata sector in the state.
SCA (Qld) has continued to maintain its focus on ensuring that the strata sector in Queensland is at the forefront of consideration by the state government. The recent Queensland State Budget shows the fruits of SCA (Qld)’s ongoing efforts, with the Attorney-General committing to progress reforms to improve the operation, management and amenity of Qld’s strata sector. This came with the provision of increased funding of $3.5 million for the sector.
Similarly, the issue of short-term letting has persisted in one of Australia’s most strata dense markets. SCA (Qld) has been engaging in consistent lobbying to the Queensland Government, encouraging the introduction of legislation that allows strata communities to introduce special powers to ban the practice, empowering residents and owners to combat the associated challenges.
The momentous and long-awaited Unit Titles (Strengthening Body Corporate Governance and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2022 (the Amendment Act) that initially became law on 9 May 2022, recently saw most of the associated changes come into full effect as of 9 May 2023. Driving consistent input since 2018, SCA (NZ) is excited to measures including increased disclosure, improved governance and new dispute resolution processes implemented.
SCA (NZ) was pleased to be recently involved in producing a response to the draft long-term electric vehicle charging strategy ‘Charging our Future.’ SCA (NZ)’s response communicated broad support for the strategy, but emphasised the critical need to consider the unique challenges presented by unit-titled properties.
South Australia / Northern Territory
SCA’s recent presence in the Northern Territory has afforded SCA (SA/NT) with a vital opportunity to explore the immense potential for growth in the NT strata industry, collaborating with key members, along with government representatives like Northern Territory Attorney-General Chansey Paech, with a strong focus on the exciting potential for reforms to strengthen the strata management industry in the state.
South Australia continues to undergo consideration of legislation that will have a significant impact on strata, notably including the potential for lease limits for short-term letting accommodation. Similarly, the Aluminium Composite Panel (ACP) cladding removal scheme is well underway, with what appears to be limited uptake so far.
SCA (Tas) has been prioritising advocacy for the strata sector and increased engagement with the Tasmanian Government, continuing to seek to form relationships at all levels, with the ultimate goal of progressing the agenda of the strata sector.
In particular, SCA (Tas) is eagerly awaiting news from the Tasmanian Land Titles Office regarding the review of the Strata Titles Act 1998, having been a critical part of the consultation process early last year.
SCA (Vic) has been heavily engaged in its advocacy of the Victorian Government and related departments, seeking to address the critical needs of the sector and championing severely necessary reforms.
Most notably, SCA (Vic) is continuing to push for the establishment of a Victorian Strata Owners Helpline, a centralised building formation portal for the storage of building manuals and the development of a co-regulation model for strata managers.
Energy Policy has been a key focus for SCA (WA) over the past months, working closely alongside the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DIRMS) and Energy Policy WA on the implementation of Alternative Electricity Services legislative amendments.
SCA (WA) is looking ahead towards some exciting things to come as we move into the latter half of the year. Expected key policy outcomes include the result of the review into short-term letting in Western Australia, along with the implementation of revised management educational qualifications in the state.
1 Strata Community Association (SCA), Electric Vehicles In Strata: Phase 2 Challenges (2023). Accessed at strata.community/electric-vehicles-in-strata
2 Hazel Easthope, Danielle Hynes, Yi Lu, Reg Wade, Australasian Strata Insights 2022, City Futures Research Centre, UNSW, Accessed at cityfutures.ada.unsw.edu.au/documents/717/2022_Australasian_Strata_Insights_Report.pdf