I find December a time of the year when I feel quite reflective. As I am getting older that reflection starts more from a place of 'gee, is it time to put the Christmas tree up again!!!???' as opposed to the more nostalgic feelings of past years when the kids were little and life seemed a little slower. I took pause (well...a COVID forced one really) to reflect on my first 6 months with SCA (Qld) and I wanted to share this with you: we are truly a very special community. What do I mean by that? I've worked in Associations of all sizes throughout my career but the level of passion that our members have for our sector and our organisation is unique and something to be celebrated. From our volunteer Board and Committees who donate countless hours to the cause; to our Life Members and Fellows who continue to contribute to the sector as it evolves (I appreciate their wisdom!); and to our sponsors and supporters who actively cheer us on and contribute in such a positive way to the growth and development of the strata sector. And to you - our members. It makes the work of our team so meaningful when you engage with us as you do. We appreciate all your feedback and genuinely look forward to finding out more about what we can do for you in 2023. In that spirit, I am going to spend the next few State Updates shining a spotlight on the work of our Committees so that you all get to appreciate the efforts of your colleagues. This month, I want to talk about our Advocacy Teams who have all been in the trenches working hard for you. SCA (Qld) Advocacy This has been another huge month for Advocacy here at SCA (Qld). We have had significant media wins with Statewide media coverage on management rights and BUGTA and we will continue to be vocal in the public sphere to advocate for our sector. As you would probably be aware BUGTA changes are now law, and we hope everyone who manages a BUGTA scheme is appreciative of the tremendous update and fact sheet drafted by SCA Life Member Gary Bugden. We hope these materials make the transition as smooth as possible. Even as we draw the year to a close, our Advocacy team are working away feverishly on delivering a number of important submissions to Government that are due in early January 2023. If we thought 2022 was a big year for strata reform, 2023 is going to be even bigger. I would like to take a moment to thank all members of the Legislation Committee and the Regulatory Reform Taskforce for working so diligently over the past year as we shut out 2022. This year marked the most significant reform to Strata law in decades, we have only you to thank in this regard. I want to acknowledge all members of these committees by name. Never has there been such a heavy volume of work in this space and as volunteers you have all had to give up substantial time and energy from your day jobs to fight for a better future for our industry. The Board, Kristian Marlow and I have appreciated your candour, and particularly the respectful way you have all collaborated and shared views and perspectives that are not always the same. Our sector is far better for it.
Regulatory Reform Taskforce
These high energy group of volunteers have devoted huge amounts of blood sweat and tears to the betterment of strata. With a huge agenda to get through, their broad spectrum of experience is most welcome. We are beginning to see some positive action on defects insurance and rectification of combustible cladding. Whilst there is nothing concrete to hang our hat on, we are getting signals for positive reform in this space. Defective construction is an issue that is rearing its head up across a number of separate government reviews at present and we are ensuring the appropriate links being drawn. Why solve one problem when you can solve three? It’s important for all that we foster good, safe construction and build consumer confidence in our buildings - and remove the headaches for the strata sector. When it comes to cladding, SCA (Qld) is continuing to work with the Government and other stakeholders on what the Queensland rectification solution should look like. While it is moving slowly, one of the benefits of that is that we have some solid reference points in other State’s programmes to lead conversations and recommendations about rectification programmes for our sector here in Queensland. SCA (Qld) is ready willing and able to provide the needed and important support to ensure this process is as smooth as possible. We end the year with a raft of achievements in this space, optimism for 2023 and a huge agenda for the future. 2023 will produce more reform for our sector. Whether it is the BCCMA, the development and construction sphere, or on issues such as EV’s, the advocacy space is varied and exciting. We have a huge reform agenda to get through and whilst Rome wasn’t built in a day, we keep seeing foundations laid, and more and more outcomes being delivered. Merry Christmas Unfortunately COVID meant that I couldn't attend a couple of our End of Year Networking functions but the photo evidence shows how much fun and frivolity was had by all. Thanks to all those who came out to them and to our sponsors who help to make these events happen. I want to close by wishing you all a wonderful break with your families and friends at Christmas and thanking all of you for your support over my first 6 months as General Manager of SCA (Qld). You have all been so kind, generous and supportive. Laura Bos General Manager