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Think Tank sets apartment agenda

The recent AAA Apartment Think Tank, held in March, has garnered the intelligence of 130 attendees including developers, builders, strata managers, Government and owners to create a pathway for the sector up to 2035 and beyond.

The one day session heard from a range of experts including Bronwyn Weir (co-author of Building Confidence Report), John Gelavis (CEO MBAWA) and futurist Howard Thomas as a means to spruik creative thinking and a can-do-attitude. Company Bridge 42 then facilitated the eight Think Tank sessions in identifying the three key issues for each topic and recommended solutions.

AAA CEO Samantha Reece said that the Think Tank had raised a range of options both for the short and long term, which were very encouraging for the sector.

“The Think Tank focused on a number of aspects including professionalism of the sector, volatility of the market, the relationship between the developer and builder, construction quality, affordability and future designs,” Ms Reece said.

“We have now created a policy document and will be meeting with Government to address how we ensure that the apartment sector is able to evolve and become robust over the next decade and beyond, especially as Government is focusing on increasing infill to 47% and predominantly around the MetroNet sites.”

Some of the recommendations from the Think Tank included:

  • Tiering apartment buildings by size, with those with 100 apartments or more to pay a sitting fee for the Strata Council members to ensure that the best applicants are nominated

  • A developer rating tool to be implemented and then applied to builders and strata managers in the longer term

  • Introduction of Latent Defect Insurance for buildings four storeys or higher

  • Standardised procurement contracts for the construction sector

  • Removal of taxes including Foreign buyer tax

  • Flexibility with apartment designs to permit adjustments to the living spaces to meet different needs through various lifecycle stages

  • Mandated percentage of affordable/social housing with each apartment development

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