TAS President Report
PRESIDENT’S REPORT to AGM of Members 1 November 2019
Aims and objectives of SCA are to;
Facilitate communication with and between members.
Facilitate interaction between members and develop opportunities to further develop their education as part of Continued Professional Development.
Represent the professional, educational and political interests of those working within the strata sector. Provide a conduit of information to and from Chapter members with SCA via the elected Directors.
Since my election as President of the Tasmanian Chapter of SCA in 2019 I have sought to engage members in the life of SCA including the educational and networking opportunities membership offers. Mainland states run vibrant state chapters with regular events for members including education, training, social and professional development.
Present member engagement in Tasmania is at the lower end of the scale, however expanding accessible events in the state will only occur if members embrace and support the worth and benefits of a vibrant industry organisation.
SCA National Convention 2019 – Auckland, New Zealand June 2019
I represented Tasmanian members at the 2019 Strata Community Association Conference titled Collaborative Communities in Auckland New Zealand in June 2019 and will be pleased to discuss any of the many and varied issues which were raised at the Convention and which are of interest to Tasmanian Members, including:
Macquarie Bank benchmarking results
Building defects - legislative responses
SPS strata business certification
Strata manager’s registration
Sustainable strata living/the impact of design and development
Attracting and retaining staff in strata
Strata and liability insurance arrangement
As always, attendees came away with enhanced learning about all things strata with plenty of food for thought on industry wide policy issues. Thank you Alisha Fisher, Claudia Montiel and all at SCA National for arranging a highly successful, well attended event and Jo Barreto and our NZ colleagues for sharing with us a brief taste of NZ.
The payment to Strata Managers of insurance commissions was also the subject of a presentation at the National conference. With strata insurance underwriters not accessible through retail shopfronts, points of contact with insurers are available through the insurance broker network or strata managers. My experience is that managers who are trained to arrange strata and liability insurances and who are familiar with the assets being insured and the risk appetite of members, are best placed to ensure compliance with the strata and public liability insurance obligations imposed on strata corporations under the Act.
Hobart Breakfast Seminar – August 2019
Hobart lawyers Page Seager hosted a breakfast seminar recently co-branded with SCA where lawyer Marc Edwards discussed a number of recent cases in the RMPAT involving Strata Corporations and owners. Cases included the interpretation of numbers for a quorum and the use of residential lots for short term visitor accommodation, AirBnB. The law and regulation around this item is changing rapidly in response to increased AirBnB usage and some strata corporations have enacted by-laws which have been registered by the Land Titles office in an attempt to retain the residential amenity of their strata scheme. The Short Stay Accommodation Act (June 2019) requires that owners listing strata properties on major booking platforms like AirBNB and Stayz, provide a Council approval for the use to the booking platform by 8th December 2109 to continue on these platforms.
Leading Change Forum - September 2019 - Strata Titles Act (1998)
Hobart hosted a National Leading Change forum in September, with the event being opened with a presentation by LTO Senior Business Analyst Stuart James on the current review of the Strata Titles Act. We were fortunate to also have the recently appointed Recorder of Titles Robert Manning and Deputy Recorder of Titles Craig Purcell attend to present and to receive feedback from members on this review of the Act.
Attendees from four major mainland states shared their experiences on recent Act rewrites in their respective states over recent years.
Many Tasmanian members made representations to the Land Titles office in 2018 on a review of the Act and we have lobbied to maintain this involvement as the process moves forward.
This was followed by a full day session considering building defects and non-conforming building products. Delegates attended from around the country including National President SCA Ltd, Andrew Chambers from WA, SCA NSW president Chris Duggan, SCA CEO Alisha Fisher and presenters expert in their respective fields.
Building defects are occurring in relatively new buildings in Australia at an alarming rate. When a defect presents there is often no party clearly responsible which results in finger pointing between industry professionals, builders, developers, a new property next door, importers of building materials et al.
It is unfair that individual lot owners solely bear the cost of building defects and it is apparent a government response is required to better protect consumers in this area and hopefully achieve better buildings in the long run.
The cost of managing, maintaining and servicing a building through its’ life cycle usually exceeds the initial cost of construction. Cheap buildings cost more to manage, maintain and service through a full life cycle than a thoughtfully designed, well constructed building.
Fortunately, Tasmania does not have the same numbers of strata buildings with non-compliant cladding or building defects as the more populous states, where flammable cladding and building defects issues are presenting in increasing numbers. With some interstate buildings now vacant while remediation works are planned / undertaken a government response to the issues is urgently required to assist owners within strata communities to practically attend to rectifying building defects and replace flammable cladding to maintain faith in this industry sector with owners, purchasers and financiers.
It is encouraging to see moves to tighten the regulatory regime around the sign off of new buildings, including the introduction of a new building manual and an insurance scheme being considered to provide for structural defects.
SCA National Conference 2020
This event is being held in Adelaide from 2-4 June 2020 is commended to members.
It has been a pleasure to serve in this role during the year. I am pleased to accept the nomination from members to serve on the state executive for the year ahead and will be pleased to serve another term if this is the wish of a majority of members.
SCA Tasmania Chapter President 22/10/2019