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Strata reform delayed as NSW Govt recognises need for more time

18 February 2014
Proposed changes to strata laws have been delayed after the NSW Government acknowledged the need for further consultation with stakeholders in order to get the new legislation right.

REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin said REINSW is grateful for the delay.

“REINSW would much rather see the legislation coming into effect a little later than expected and be responsive to the needs of the community, rather than having it go through and just not work,” Mr McKibbin said.

NSW Fair Trading released the Position Paper on strata reform back in November 2013 and a final Bill was expected to be introduced into Parliament early this year. Introduction of the final Bill has now been extended until August.

“The Minister for Fair Trading Stuart Ayres has recognised that the predetermined timetable was just not feasible,” Mr McKibbin said.

“Mr Ayres is clearly aware of the importance of strata reform to the community and recognises the sheer scale of the Bill.”

The significance of the legislation has been previously addressed by former NSW Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts when he released the long-awaited position paper in November 2013.

Mr Roberts acknowledged that strata schemes were the most common land title system for apartment buildings in NSW and it has been estimated that more than 30 per cent of the state’s population now live or work in strata.

“On average, five new strata schemes are registered each day, and it has been estimated that within 20 years approximately half of the state’s population will be living or working in strata," Mr Roberts said at the time.

Early drafts of the Bill addressed issues against the 70 amendments outlined in the position paper, which included changes to factor in the growth of strata.

“Earlier drafts did address a lot of problems that REINSW had raised, however there are some areas in the proposed Bill that need significant industry input and this will take some time,” Mr McKibbin said.