Strata reform must be fast-tracked

The Property Council of Australia has today thrown its support behind comments from Gold Coast Councillor, Cameron Caldwell, on the urgent need for reform of the thresholds for termination of strata title schemes in Queensland.

With close to a million Queenslanders now living within community title scheme complexes -Property Council Queensland Executive Director, Chris Mountford, says it’s imperative the Queensland Government moves to protect the economic future of these assets.

"Our current legislation costs owners and the broader community dearly by preventing the majority from exerting their property rights," Mr Mountford said.

Under Queensland’s Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997, the unanimous consent of all the lot holders in a community title scheme is required to terminate a scheme and allow the site to be sold for redevelopment. In New South Wales, the threshold is 75 per cent.

"As Cr Caldwell rightly points out, the current law in Queensland means that no matter how dilapidated the building, or how advantageous a developer’s offer, a single opponent within a body corporate can prevent a redevelopment from going ahead."

"The consequence is that many buildings are beyond restoration, often becoming safety hazards, but the owners are shackled to these sinking assets because a lone objector is denying them opportunities to redevelop."

"As the local government area with a highest number of community title schemes in Queensland, the Gold Coast is particularly at risk as these assets succumb to age, and structural issues like concrete cancer."

"The Queensland Government’s Advancing our cities and regions strategy, released last week, focuses on the economic growth and job opportunities that can be unlocked through facilitating urban renewal in areas that are already well serviced by infrastructure."

"Without change to Queensland’s archaic strata title laws, urban renewal will only be able to be achieved on land owned by the Government, or properties held within single ownership."

"Lowering the termination threshold in Queensland to 75 per cent would allow the will of the majority to prevail, while generating significant investment opportunities, creating jobs and catalyzing urban renewal."

"At a time when governments are looking to facilitate urban infill and make better use of existing infrastructure, existing body corporate laws are a huge roadblock to getting more out of underutilised sites."

Media contact: Chris Mountford | E cmountford@propertycouncil.com.au