OCN MEDIA RELEASE: 6 March 2019

“Our members welcome Labor’s commitment to create a Strata Commissioner”, Phil Gall, Chairman of the Owners Corporation Network of Australia, said today.

“The time is right to create a ministry for housing that brings housing, strata and property services together in one portfolio”.

“Strata housing and the communities it creates are the product of Government policy. If Government wants our massively growing population to live in high rise, it must pay attention to their needs”.

“This type of reform is long overdue and if Mr Daley’s team win on 23 March, we will work to help make these changes happen.”

“In 2019, we have less consumer protection than we did twenty years ago – a flawed 2% developer bond scheme, and no legislated duty of care, something the UK has had since 1974. It is completely unacceptable that builders are allowed to phoenix their business, leaving home owners stranded with massive debts. This is just not right.”

“Opal Tower is just the tip of the iceberg,” he said.

“We welcome the announcements of both parties to address defects, but any reform must be robust and deliver real results. There must be a consumer satisfaction survey built into the system to keep track of performance”.

“It is not all about defects. There is a huge need for information and support to help the strata community function better. The whole issue of Airbnb has not been handled well, and there are numerous other issues to address”, he said.

“Meanwhile, climate change is already on us but the current Government has no strategy for transitioning strata housing into the non-carbon economy.”

“Building sustainable residential strata communities needs the leadership of a senior Minister and a Commissioner for Strata Living who are genuinely committed to delivering services fit for the 21st Century.”, Mr Gall said.

Media comment:
Karen Stiles, Executive Officer: 0418 232 476 / eo@ocn.org.au