Ahead of the next federal election, the Strata Community Association (SCA) has released three priorities it would like the major parties to address.
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With 5 million Aussies living in strata complexes, the Strata Community Association has noted that a significant segment of the population is invested in the betterment of the sector, and it is advising political parties to take note.
“The total value of strata dwellings is $1.3 trillion and the industry contributes $6.7 billion annually to the economy,” SCA noted.
Without investment and innovation in the sector, it warned, the goals that each of the major parties are aiming for at this election are unattainable.
According to SCA national president Chris Duggan, these are the peak body’s three requests of the next elected government:
Establish a National Strata Sustainability Fund
Environmental concerns are understandably becoming a bigger priority when Australians are searching for a home. Strata buildings need support to change with the times, SCA has argued.
Mr Duggan explained that a National Strata Sustainability Fund is needed to “turbocharge sustainability upgrades in strata buildings like EV charging stations, improved waste systems, more energy efficient buildings and better water usage”.
The fund would provide low- and no-interest financing to owners corporations and bodies corporate, funding for education initiatives, and incentives for strata communities to further their involvement in existing sustainability programs and grants such as NABERS.
Eradicate the high prevalence of building defects in strata complexes
With a keen understanding of the myriad factors that have contributed to a high rate of building defects in new builds, the body believes the issue cannot be resolved without “leadership and cooperation between governments to get there, not just in one state or territory, but across the whole of Australia”.
SCA is calling for the implementation of the model guidance from 2019’s Building Confidence Report (BCR), which is estimated to save consumers approximately $1.4 billion annually and offer industry time savings worth approximately $375 million each year.
The body is also asking the parties to support the introduction of customer-facing rating tools to give consumers more transparency and expand building warranty schemes to include buildings more than three storeys in all jurisdictions.
Make insurance more affordable and accessible for strata owners
Finally, SCA asked governments at all levels to take action to reduce “unnecessary fees, duties and levies” and direct funding into efforts such as mitigation and weatherproofing to drive down premiums and increase protections in the future.
“It is our hope that all of the parties contesting this election recognise the value in these non-partisan priorities, and sign up to harness the multiplier effect of strata into the future,” Mr Duggan said.
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Based in Sydney, Juliet Helmke has a broad range of reporting and editorial experience across the areas of business, technology, entertainment and the arts. She was formerly Senior Editor at The New York Observer.
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