It certainly has been an incredible action-packed year. On behalf of SCA (WA), I’d like to first take this opportunity to wish all of our members and clients Season’s Greetings and hope you all have a safe and enjoyable New Year.
The long-awaited reforms to the Strata Titles Act passed WA’s Parliament in November and we are still waiting on the Regulations. It is now expected that the Regulations may be Gazetted in January 2020, then tabled in both Houses of Parliament around March, if it is not disallowed, proclamation is likely mid next year.
Ultimately, I believe it can be concluded that the Reforms to the Act were rushed through with a number of failures and shortcomings that now need to be addressed in the Regulations. This has meant that the Regulations will be an incredibly detailed and comprehensive document and we are still waiting on visibility as to where several important matters have landed.
The two areas of greatest angst are the termination of management contracts six months following proclamation and Section 143(5)(a).
The termination of management contracts will have a significant detrimental impact on a number of strata management business. It will be interesting to see if any thought has been given towards compensation to businesses that will be unduly impacted by this piece of legislation. With a number of schemes having a financial year beginning 1 January, it would have been very helpful to have better visibility around the Regulations so that all parties are better informed for their upcoming AGM’s and the year ahead. Without a better understanding of the final drafting, SCA (WA) is limited in its ability to make further progress on drafting the new pro-forma strata management contract.
Based on a legal position that SCA (WA) sourced regarding Section 143(5)(a), it could be interpreted as to prohibit the current and longstanding practices of strata managers and strata companies in respect to their engagement of contractors. It will create a lack of clarity regarding the engagement of contractors, uncertainty when it comes to liabilities and warranties, inefficiencies and delays in how contractors are engaged and increase the financial risks to all parties, including the contractors.
With the new complexities in the legislation, it was anticipated that there would be a minimum qualification for strata managers to both raise the profile of the industry and for consumer protection. Unfortunately, Landgate has admitted that they have paid more reliance on the REIWA position. It is therefore expected that strata managers will not need to attain a Cert IV in Strata Community Management and will only need to undertake several of the units in the Cert IV. We do hope Landgate will listen to the National Industry Council and adopt the Core units of the Cert IV and not the random mix of units which were submitted to Landgate by REIWA, as was the case in their last draft.
SCA WA Convention & Awards Night
On the 8th November we held our Convention and Awards Night which was another very successful day. There were some amazing presenters and our attendance was up in all areas making it five years in a row that we have seen year on year growth.
The feedback from attendees on the Awards Night was outstanding. I’d like to congratulate all of our winners, runners up and those who made the effort to submit a nomination. This year we received almost double the nominations of past years which made it very hard for the judging panel.
I’d also like to make special mention of our new Life Member Karen Richardson. Karen is a past president of STIWA and has contributed to our Industry for over 30 years; thank you Karen for all of your hard work over the years.
Events and Marketing Co-Ordinator
It is with great disappointment that that Sasha Costanzo, our events and marketing co-ordinator, resigned and finishing her employment with SCA (WA) late November. Sasha joined us three years ago and over this period truly contributed to the successes that we as an Association achieved.
Stepping into a largely undefined role, Sasha took ownership of all events and workshop planning, along with membership and sponsor engagement. Year on year SCA (WA) has taken great strides in each of these areas and Sasha deserves the accolades for these achievements.
We are currently advertising for an Events and Marketing Coordinator with the aim of trying to fill the role early in the new year.
SCA WA Events
In 2020 things kick off early, with the South-west seminar late January and the Outlook Breakfast first week in February.
Our Principals Retreat will be held in Hawaii on the 11th and 12th March 2020 and places are limited, so book early. The Principals Retreat will coincide with the Buildings, Facilities and Property Management Expo being hosted in Hawaii over the same week. With around 4,000 delegates and hundreds of exhibits, it will certainly be an event not to miss.