Legislative Review Program Provides Economic Reform

The legislative reforms which will be placed before state parliament during the February and March sittings will provide important reforms and process updates for the Queensland accommodation industry.

The decision by the Queensland government to further review the key legislation of the Body Corporate and Community Management Act and the Property Agents and Motor Dealer’s Act results in a busy year of legislative law.

Fortunately it is linked in to the key economic policies outlined by the Newman government to really focus on the two backbone key issues of our industry- the focus on tourism as one of the four pillars of development focus across the state along with a pillar focus, with a strong incentive to support planning reforms to encourage accommodation, especially density living accommodation.

We are also seeing new policies designed to encourage tourism and visitation to Queensland being implemented and the focus on regional events and celebrations along with major business and recreational events adding to the revival of the short stay accommodation opportunities throughout Queensland. This summer our members across the state’s holiday destinations have reported very solid visitation numbers reporting the strongest bookings program for more than three years, with continuing holiday interest well into the first half of this year.

The focus by the government on the bread and butter industry of accommodation and tourism has been timely, as it has meant that the legislative review of the old PAMD Act has been subject to three major reviews which have resulted in the creation of four separate property acts and an administration act. The new Property Occupation Bill that goes before the state parliament this month is currently under further review by the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee who will hold a final inquiry before reporting its recommendations to parliament prior to the debate.

ARAMA has responded to the inquiry on the basis of the importance of the development of the regulations which will be prepared and finalised once the legislation is enacted to develop the day to day operational requirements.

We are pleased that the government has worked hard to create the separate legislation by creating the Property Occupations Bill to ensure that the property management role is less confusing and has meant that much of the irrelevant historic red tape requirements have been removed. The separate administrative act – still provides all the legal requirements and protection for all parties involved in purchasing, agents’ requirements and responsibilities and management rules. The review process has been stretched out by the election program but it has meant that that there has been a major priority focus on the Queensland accommodation industry and the diverse range of stakeholders that make up the industry.

Clearly it has been important to attract national and international investors back into the market especially in the tourist and holiday industry regions and we at ARAMA have welcomed the new legislation involving the responsible accommodation opportunities in the state’s national parks including islands and the clarification of many aspects of Body Corporate and Community Management, in that legislation that has also been extensively reviewed and updated to meet 21st century expectations.

The resident managers accommodation industry provides services to both the tourism and holiday complexes and the long term residency development across the strata title and community living buildings and complexes. The new legislation gives recognition to the professional skills and ability of resident managers and now clearly defines that resident managers are permitted to provide services to multiple sites as long as they provide responsible management services to suit the complexes.

This is a significant initiative for the resident management accommodation industry that was developed in Queensland to provide more holiday accommodation and to attract investment by Australians in the property market. The economic indications that are emerging from these summer holidays only reinforce the attractiveness of holiday and tourism development while the population forecasts for Queensland over the next 30 years which now forecast a doubling of citizens clearly shows the many of the new suburban developments as well as the major high rise buildings will be strata and community titled complexes, operated by bodies corporate committees and under daily management by experienced professional resident managers.

The diversity of opportunities within Queensland is already evident on the skylines of our capital city and the regional cities within the state. The updated legislation and the commitment by government to support tourism and the holiday industry is welcomed and exciting.

Importantly this year, we get the chance to showcase to the world with the visit of the G20 countries and their leaders and the entourage of 7000 support staff including 3000 journalists to visit the state and its attractions. We will have more than just lifestyle to showcase.

Bill Kemter

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