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Government calls for input on strata laws reform
Released 16 December 2011

The Minister for Fair Trading Anthony Roberts has announced a three month online consultation on strata and community scheme issues to be hosted by public policy think tank Global Access Partners (GAP).     

Roberts said the New South Wales Government welcomed the GAP initiative, which will provide a valuable source of information for the Government's planned review of strata and community title laws in 2012.

"2011 marks the 50th anniversary of the world's first strata title law, which commenced right here in NSW on 1 July 1961," Roberts said.

"In 1989, New South Wales was again a world leader when it introduced laws enabling the development of community schemes, which allow for multiple dwellings on one piece of land."

Minister Roberts said original strata and community title laws had been copied and improved around Australia and the world.

"Regrettably, NSW laws have not kept pace with the issues facing strata and community scheme residents," he said.

"The laws are outdated and no longer effectively support owners in the day-to-day management of their scheme or address the issues associated with ageing buildings, changing demographics and accountability for annual budgets that can amount to millions of dollars.

"Since the first strata scheme was registered, strata has developed into the fastest growing form of residential property ownership.

He said more than two million people now live in over 70,000 strata and 1500 community schemes in NSW. Within 20 years, half the state's population, are expected to be living in strata and community schemes.

He added the current laws were designed primarily for small, self-managed blocks of flats.

"Strata and community schemes now include city high rises, townhouses, dual occupancies, offices, retirement villages and mixed-use, recreational and tourism-focused developments," he said.

"There is a general view in the community and it is one accepted by the government that the laws need to be reformed to more effectively meet the diverse needs of today's owners and residents.

"The government's review will be undertaken to make NSW number one again, with our goal being nothing short of having the best strata and community scheme laws in the world."

"The GAP consultation will give all strata and community scheme stakeholders an opportunity to share their experiences, raise specific issues or concerns and suggest possible solutions in advance of the formal review of the legislation next year."

The online consultation period will run from 15 December 2011 to 29 February 2012.

Comments can be made directly online on the GAP Open Forum website at