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QLD Article

General Manager Update - January

2023 – This Will Be Our Year!

As the new year came in with all its standard bluster and excitement before quickly dissipating into the grim or thrilling (depending on your worldview) reality of a new work year.

San Francisco band “ Train” (of “Drops of Jupiter” fame) has another famous track called “This’ll Be My Year,” and as I listened to it on the loop in the early days of 2023 I couldn’t help but think of the Queensland strata sector.

It’s been said patience is a virtue and, in the case of Queensland’s strata sector, we have needed decades of patience given the issues which have emerged over time. This, coupled with a lack of responsiveness by successive governments of all stripes, has left us with 20th century legislation well into the 21st century.

The past two years have seen significant consultation on a variety of strata issues across the Community Titles Legislation Working Group, Review into the Queensland Home Warranty Scheme, combustible cladding and other housing issues. Thus far, even with the impetus of a significant housing crisis in Queensland we have had some exciting, albeit limited changes with respect of the BUGTA - though it has not been harmonised with the BCCMA.

As I pondered our industry’s future and listened to Train over the break I was struck by the chorus of “This’ll Be My Year,”:

No more

Countin' down the hours

No more

Wishin' you were here

I stopped believin'

Although Journey told me don't

Before I call it a day

Maybe this'll be my year.

Quite an apt description of how the Queensland strata sector may be feeling after decades of waiting!

Despite two years of hard work and submissions, there has been little substantive change to how the vast majority of strata communities are run, thus far. But we must not stop believing!

There is cause for optimism that this will indeed be our year. The momentum we have generated and the relationships and respect we are building lead us to be very optimistic about seeing bills go through Parliament this calendar year. We have been toiling hard to try and set the ground out for real, pragmatic, lasting and meaningful reform.

The complexity of the strata sector has often been a big hurdle for lawmakers to jump. With so many competing interests, we can all too often be left in the “too-hard basket.” Pleasingly, the strata sector has reached such a critical mass that we simply can’t be ignored any longer. In addition, with the benefits of strata in helping to solve the housing crisis at the front of mind for Government also, we believe finally lawmakers recognise that there is important work to be done to ensure that this huge (and growing) swathe of our population can live in relative peace and harmony, whilst trusting their interests are protected and their assets in safe hands.

So, what does this mean for us. Can we rest on our laurels and simply wait for Government to do the right thing by our whole sector? Absolutely not. Whilst we have done plenty of work thus far, exposure draft legislation and movement on more complex issues is of course our next goal.

Getting good legislation passed as an industry body is a bit like a football team seeking to win a championship. You play preliminary rounds (consultation) to get to the finals (exposure draft legislation) ultimately, what you get passed by the Parliament is your grand final. SCA (Qld) can confidently say we have performed extremely well throughout the preliminary rounds. We have put together diligent, well drafted submissions, met with Government and put issues on the public agenda so that politicians broadly are aware and alert to these issues.

As we approach what we believe to be the business end of the reform process in so many areas it is important we maintain our momentum and energy. We have worked so hard as an industry body for so long to chase reform and we must be diligent right to the end and let nothing slip through to the keeper as legislation is (or isn’t) put to Parliament this year.

So, with all the sports metaphors and musical musing I welcome all of you to 2023. This will be a year where we really see the rubber hit the road in terms of significant changes to legislation affecting our sector. Just maybe, this’ll be our year.

Laura Bos

General Manager



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