New government discussion paper outlines options for NSW strata

| September 16, 2012

It is estimated that more than half of Sydney-siders will live in strata developments by 2030. Launching the NSW strata discussion paper, Anthony Roberts says that statistic makes it essential that the State has an effective strata framework.

I am pleased to release this discussion paper which raises a number of options to provide a more modern, innovative and effective regulatory framework for strata and community schemes. New South Wales can be proud of its achievement as the birthplace of both the strata and community scheme models.

Some fifty years on, more than one-quarter of the State’s population owns, lives or works in strata and community schemes.

We now have more than 70,000 schemes worth an estimated $350 billion in total assets. These numbers are set to rise even more dramatically over coming decades.

There is a growing consensus among key stakeholders and the community that our once groundbreaking laws have failed to keep pace with change and no longer meet the needs of the sector.

The NSW Liberals and Nationals Government understands the call to make the laws simpler and more certain for all involved. In particular, we want to recognise and assist arguably our largest army of volunteers, those men and women who give up their valuable time to serve on their scheme’s executive committee.

Owners corporations effectively act as a 4th tier of government, with democratic elections and powers to raise levies and to make and enforce rules. This paper looks at ways that the governance of schemes could be improved as well as better ways to manage buildings, money and disputes.

The Government is committed to working with the community to create a set of laws which we can take forward for the next 50 years and which other jurisdictions around the country and the world will look to once more as best practice.

Some of the guiding principles for this review are to ensure that the laws:

  • adequately protect consumers
  • provide fair, accessible and practical democratic processes
  • raise the level of transparency and accountability
  • make schemes as easy to run as possible
  • encourage self-governance
  • are future orientated
  • are appropriate and scalable for different types of schemes.

The release of this discussion paper gives the community an opportunity to have their say on the development of the laws which will shape the way we live together in shared communities for decades to come. It builds upon the innovative and successful online consultation run by Global Access Partners that concluded earlier this year.

Your input is important to the Government in deciding how best the laws can be improved. I encourage you to participate in this discussion and provide your views on the options outlined in this paper.

The discusssion paper is available at:

The Review of strata and community title laws survey is available at: