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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 31 March 2021) . . Page.. 693 ..

The strata management industry is no doubt also bearing most of the burden from this growing complexity. Clearly they are not a charity; they are a group of businesses and they cannot deliver their services free of charge. The cost of furnishing such things as unit titles, certificates and update certificates and oversighting all the other services that they provide—all of these complexities and obligations translate into costs that are ultimately stumped up by individual owners and many of them are stumped up by renters.

As legislators, we must be conscious of the costs being imposed on those sectors of the community that are so critical to community wellbeing, and the strata management sector is certainly an extremely potent example. If legislation keeps putting upward pressure on the cost of the sector’s functionality, then eventually it will become a deterrent to investing in that sector; and of course that comes to the detriment of housing supply, and that is the last thing that we want and I think it is the last thing that anyone in this place wants.

We will not dwell on those pressures bearing down on residential property owners and those renting these but we need to keep in mind the twin monsters of combustible cladding and poor building quality. But we will leave that for another day. In the meantime, this side of the chamber will not be opposing this amendment bill.

MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (11.51): We also support this bill. It is part of the government’s regular program of omnibus amendments and it just makes minor policy and technical amendments to five different pieces of legislation. We are pleased that it will improve, clarify and streamline legislation that relates to unit titles and the community concessional leases. While the amendments are minor in nature, the changes that they make are necessary and worthwhile improvements to the ACT statute book.

We are keeping a close eye on some of the bigger reviews that are happening in planning at the moment. I am very conscious that the Planning and Land Authority is conducting a fairly major review of planning and we are putting a bit of time into that. But we are really pleased to see these omnibus changes come through. The ACT Greens are happy to support this bill.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (11.53), in reply: I thank members for their contributions to the debate on this bill. The government is making it fairer and easier to live and work together through the managing buildings better reforms and, as part of these reforms, we are reviewing and amending legislation related to unit titles to improve the management of apartments, townhouses, mixed-use developments and commercial units.

The ACT Planning Strategy sets a target of 70 per cent of all new homes to be built in existing urban areas, which means that more people will be living and working in mixed-use developments in the future. The previous legislation governing unit titles was complex and made it difficult for owners corporations to fairly and efficiently manage the operations of buildings, including common facilities, levies and disputes.

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