Strata Reform

The Strata Reform Project is considering the issues surrounding the development, operation and management of mixed-use developments. A mixed-use development is where residential and commercial operations coexist under a single building envelope or unit title. (For example, a shopping centre and restaurant may be located on the ground floor of a complex, the second floor provides for public parking and the final floors are residential premises).

Why is the Strata Reform Project occurring?

Mixed-use developments are becoming more commonplace to enable active urban communities where people can live and work together. However, the current legislation governing unit titles is complex, interconnected and outdated. A fairer and more equitable approach to enhance the liveability and future innovation of these buildings is required.

What are some of the key areas for reform?

To date, the Strata Reform Project has identified three major areas for reform within mixed-use developments, namely:

  • governance frameworks for new developments – this may include the introduction of building management statements and the ability to have separate budgets for residential and commercial occupants;
  • updated management and dispute arrangements for existing developments – for example, how decisions are made by bodies corporate, executive committees and strata managers; and
  • modernising planning requirements to cater for different types of mixed-use developments.

Who is involved?

The directorate is managing the project in consultation with other relevant areas of Government, as well as key industry stakeholders and the community. To date, the directorate’s consultation with stakeholders has focused on identifying major issues with the planning, management and the governance of mixed-use developments. The directorate will pursue further engagement more broadly over the next few months to seek views on possible options for reform.

How do other States and Territories deal with mixed-use?

Western Australia and New South Wales have conducted reviews and reforms involving mixed-use developments. Queensland held public consultations in late 2017 concerning their review of property, body corporate and community titles legislation. The directorate is assessing those reviews to establish whether they would provide suitable examples for ACT strata reforms.

How long will this project take?

The Strata Reform Project has been underway since July 2016, with initial consultation, research and project development taking place. However, we are now looking to progress the project to the next phase. Projected key implementation dates are:

  • Updating Reference Group Committees (face to face) – May/Jun 2018;
  • Informing the community (digital) – Jul to Oct 2018;
  • Community consultation: Release of Exposure Amendment Draft Bill – opens
    Dec 2018;
  • Community information seminars – Jan/Feb 2019;
  • Comments close: Exposure Amendment Draft Bill – mid/late Feb 2019;
  • Introduction of Amendment Legislation to the Legislative Assembly – May 2019; and
  • Legislation to commence – 1 Jul 2019.

What legislation is involved?

Some of the legislation regulating mixed-use developments which may require amendment includes:

Some of the reform options may also involve policy or administrative changes to current processes and procedures.

How can I contribute?

In addition to the consultation with stakeholders, the directorate will be inviting comments and assistance from members of the community to better understand the issues affecting residents and commercial occupants within mixed-use developments. We will be seeking input to test possible solutions through our digital platforms in the near future, so stay tuned to this website.

Where can I get further information?

Further information will become available on this website page. Register your interest in future information and updates by emailing StrataReform@act.gov.au.

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