SCA Advocacy Round-Up

The SCA Advocacy Round-Up pulls out the highlights from SCA nationally, in each state and territory and in New Zealand. Summaries are brief and to the point – if you would like more information on any of the actions included below, contact Shaun Brockman, National Policy and Advocacy Manager,

National: SCA completed its Federal Pre-Budget Submission for 2021-22 earlier in the year. This has resulted in the commitment by the Morrison Government towards funding a $10 billion reinsurance pool in northern Australia, $40 million strata title resilience pilot program, and the establishment of the National Recovery and Resilience Agency, in response to the growing unaffordability and unavailability of insurance coverage for homeowners in northern regions facing cyclones, flooding and other extreme weather events.

SCA also welcomed the announcement in May 2021, of the extension of the eligibility criteria for the Federal Government’s successful HomeBuilder stimulus program to apartments.

SCA convened its National Strata Insurance Taskforce (SCANSIT) in mid-late May 2021 to begin consultation with insurance industry stakeholders and the Federal Treasury concerning the design of the future Northern Australia Reinsurance Pool, with a submission being completed shortly thereafter.

SCA have also completed consultation processes and submissions concerning Automatic Mutual Recognition, the Australian Building and Construction Board (ABCB) Building Manuals, .

NSW: SCA (NSW) have continually liaised with the state government to oversee the effective implementation of the Professional Standards Scheme (PSS) for strata managers, effective 1 July 2021. Under the PSS, strata managers in NSW must become a member of SCA (NSW) in order to meet CPD requirements for licensed status.

SCA (NSW) also completed a submission concerning the Strata Legislation Review on 7 April 2021.

SCA (NSW) President Chris Duggan has been appointed Chair of the Property Services Body.

VIC: SCA (Vic) have continually lobbied for greater clarity in COVID-19 public health and sector guidance for strata and building operators, approaching the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions on multiple occasions to clarify regulations concerning COVIDSafe plans and electronic recordkeeping requirements.

QR code check-in requirements in particular, have been clarified to limit these requirements to shared facilities where people are likely to gather for extended periods, as opposed to the confusion observed by managers in May-June 2021, where these rules were not clarified, and these issues became the subject of media attention.

SCA (Vic) have continually met with Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) and The Hon Melissa Horne MP, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Liquor and Gaming Regulation, to discuss a broad array of policy proposals in the areas of Owners Corporation laws, residential tenancy regulations, application of Australian Accounting Standards, short-term letting, sustainability, mental health, education and minimum standards. 

SCA (Vic) also completed a submission for the Expert Panel’s Comprehensive Review of Victoria’s Building System overseen by Better Regulation Victoria (BRV) in May 2021.

QLD: SCA (Qld) are working as part of a working group of strata industry stakeholders with the Queensland Government concerning Community Titles legislation.

WA: SCA (WA) reached out to members of the re-elected McGowan government, following the election in March 2021.  Meetings were secured with the Hon Dr Tony Buti MP, Minister for Lands, which have resulted in the successful establishment of a dedicated strata hotline, successfully meeting SCA (WA)’s election priority to secure better outcomes for consumers owning, living, or looking to get into the strata property sector.

Discussions between SCA (WA) and the Western Australian Government regarding the implementation of a licensing regime for strata managers have also progressed in a positive direction, with the possibility for implementation within the current term of government.

SA/NT: SCA (SA/NT) completed a submission concerning the South Australian Government’s Embedded Networks Review on 24 May 2021 and attended meetings with new Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet members to discuss policy and legislative priorities.

TAS: SCA have worked alongside CHU and other stakeholders to raise awareness of the issues surrounding a systemic lack of strata insurance coverage in Tasmania, including through the use of media and communications work

ACT: SCA (ACT) have contributed to consultation processes alongside SCA concerning the ACT Government’s Private Building Cladding Scheme, leading up to the announcement of the scheme on 21 July 2021. SCA (ACT) broadly support the scheme’s implementation, while urging greater consideration by the government on costs to owners corporations, implications for retrospective testing and applications and greater consultation with the insurance industry.

NZ: SCA (NZ) coordinated a working committee and submission on the Unit Titles (Strengthening Body Corporate Governance and Other Matters) Amendment Bill (2021), which after the first reading, was referred to the New Zealand Parliamentary Committee on 29 April 2021.

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