NSW Government Announces $10 Million in Grants for EV Ready Building Upgrades

NSW Government Announces $10 Million in Grants for EV Ready Building Upgrades


Exciting news for all residents and owners of strata buildings across NSW. The NSW Government has unveiled a fantastic opportunity to accelerate the adoption of EVs in your strata scheme. They’re offering a $10 million grant program to retrofit buildings with the technology needed to support EV charging stations. This initiative is a significant step towards making NSW the easiest place to own and use an EV. 

The EV Ready Building Grant Program is designed to assist eligible strata apartment buildings in both metropolitan and regional areas. Here’s what you need to know: 

What Does the Grant Cover?  

The program will co-fund up to 80% of the cost for each building upgrade, with a maximum cap of $80,000. This means eligible strata apartment buildings can get substantial financial support for EV infrastructure improvements. Whether it’s installing EV charging stations or upgrading electrical infrastructure to support EV charging, the grant is here to help.  

In addition to retrofitting EV charging infrastructure, the program is dedicated to supporting the installation of up to 4 shared-use EV chargers in visitor parking spots. This means that residents, guests, and visitors can conveniently charge their EVs, making it easier for everyone to embrace EVs as a sustainable mode of transportation. 

Why Should You Apply?  

By applying for the EV Building Grant Program, you can take advantage of significant cost savings associated with owning an EV, including reducing the cost of installing EV charging infrastructure in a common area. Not only will this grant increase the value and appeal of your strata scheme, but it will also encourage the use of EVs and reduce carbon emissions. 

How to Apply 

To seize this exciting opportunity,  visit  – https://www.energy.nsw.gov.au/business-and-industry/programs-grants-and-schemes/electric-vehicles/electric-vehicle-ready.

Applications will remain open until the funding is exhausted, so be sure to review the eligibility criteria and don’t miss your opportunity to be part of this green revolution to secure your building’s share of the $10 million grant fund. 

Pet Lovers Rejoice – NSW Government to Ban Fees for Pets in Strata

In the exciting landscape of the upcoming strata law reforms in NSW, the Minns government is set to remove fees and bonds for pet owners in strata schemes while also simplifying the lives of pet owners residing in apartment blocks.

Many owners in strata schemes have long been burdened by additional fees and bonds imposed on pet ownership. The good news is that the Minns government is taking a decisive step towards labelling these charges as costly and unreasonable, given that lot owners already contribute to the upkeep of their strata schemes through levies.

For pet owners living in strata communities, the prospect of paying extra fees or bonds simply for owning a pet has been a source of frustration. These additional costs have often been perceived as an unnecessary financial burden on residents.

The NSW Government, as part of its ongoing reforms, has recognised these concerns and taken a stand against these costs. Given that strata owners already pay levies for the maintenance of their strata schemes, these additional pet-related costs have been deemed unreasonable.

This move is part of phase one of the NSW Government’s broader review aimed at creating a more transparent and equitable strata system. The focus is on making the system fairer for all residents, ensuring that they are not subject to unjustified pet ownership fees or other aspects of strata living.

While this reform is undoubtedly a victory for pet owners, it’s also a win for strata schemes. A pet-friendly living environment can enhance the desirability of strata properties. It attracts a broader range of potential buyers and renters, benefiting the entire strata community.

To hear more about the changes to fees for pets in strata, listen to the SCA (NSW) President’s chat with 2GBs Chris O’Keefe below.

NSW Fair Trading Industry Update: building reforms impacting class 3 and 9c

NSW Fair Trading held an industry update on the building reforms impacting class 3 and 9c.

From Monday, 3 July 2023 if you are a design or building practitioner, or professional engineer working on class 3 or 9c buildings you must be registered with NSW Fair Trading.

Extending the regulation of class 2 buildings into additional classes is a continuation of the NSW Government’s commitment to restore public confidence in the building and construction industry. 
The changes are designed to ensure that buildings are safe and secure, that the industry is more customer-focused, and that better data is captured throughout the building life cycle.

Key changes from 3 July 
  • You will need to be registered with NSW Fair Trading as a design practitioner, building practitioner or professional engineer to continue to work on class 3 and 9c buildings.
  • Your obligations to work on these buildings is regulated under two laws, the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 and Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act 2020.
  • As a registered practitioner you will be required to make declarations related to the design and building work of class 3 and 9c buildings on the NSW Planning Portal.
  • If you are already registered to work on class 2 buildings as a design or building practitioner, you do not need to re-apply. You can use your existing registration to make declarations for class 3 and 9c buildings.
  • These changes apply to new class 3 and 9c building projects. Alteration or renovation work for existing buildings will come into effect on 1 July 2024.
  • If you expect to complete a class 3 or 9c building before 4 January 2024 and require an occupation certificate, you need to submit an Expected Completion Notice (ECN) before 18 July.

Read more about the changes 

Registration and Requirements

Find out about eligibility and registrations requirements: 

Additional Resources

Here is a list of links that were shared by the presenters that you might find useful:

Recruitment contacts:

NSW Planning Portal resources:

NSW Planning Portal help and support:

NSW Planning Portal requirements for developments completed before 2 January 2024

If your development is due to be completed before 2 January 2024, you must submit the expected completion notice on the NSW Planning Portal before 18 July 2023.

Email obcdigitaldelivery@customerservice.nsw.gov.au and a specialist team will work with you to ensure that the development is setup correctly in the NSW Planning Portal.


2023 Strata Defects Survey

The Office of the Building Commissioner is proud to announce the launch of the highly anticipated 2023 Strata Defects Survey on June 26, 2023. SCA (NSW) are proud partners of the 2023 Strata Defects Survey.

This survey endeavours to examine the firsthand experiences of NSW strata communities in relation to serious building defects. It represents the second iteration of extensive research efforts, focused on comprehending the prevalence of significant defects in common property of class 2 residential apartment buildings.

This research will form part of the Construct NSW strategy to increase consumer confidence and shape new solutions to help reduce the burden that defects have on strata managers and the owners of residential apartment buildings in NSW.

Your voice matters - have your say and help shape the future!

We invite you to participate in the survey and share your valued opinions and experiences regarding the prevalence of serious defects in class 2 residential apartment buildings.

You are an integral part of this research, and your participation plays a crucial role in providing a clear understanding in the management of residential buildings for policy and industry change makers.

Next steps

The survey will be available through the NSW Gov Strata Hub from 26 June 2023 and will remain open for one month.

In order to optimise the timeliness of the survey process, the survey is conveniently accessible through the Strata Hub. This ensures a streamlined experience by eliminating any need for duplicate information uploads. To ensure the survey is a seamless task, we highly recommend that all information within the Strata Hub is kept up-to-date well in advance.

Note: You will be able to delegate surveys to colleagues to complete.

Is your roof winter-proof?

Winter can be challenging for roofs, especially in areas of heavy rainfall or high winds. Roofing issues caused by heavy rainfall or high winds can create safety issues for your home and increase home maintenance costs. An insulated roof enables heat to be stored inside your home for longer to keep the inside temperature warm and stable. However, there are some items to include in your winter checklist for roofs to ensure your roof is in optimal condition:

  1. Check for any visible damage to your roof, such as cracked or missing tiles, and have them repaired.
  2. Make sure that gutters and downpipes are clear of debris and leaves, and check for any signs of rust or damage. Clearing the gutters and downpipes will prevent water from backing up and potentially causing damage to the roof.
  3. Check the flashing around chimneys, vents, and skylights to ensure they are secure and not damaged. Properly installed and maintained flashing will help prevent water from seeping into your home.
  4. Trim any overhanging tree branches that could potentially damage your roof during high winds or heavy rainfall.
  5. Inspect your attic or ceiling space for any signs of water damage, such as stains or mould. If you notice any problems, have them fixed before the winter season starts.
  6. Check the insulation in your attic or ceiling space to ensure that it is adequate. Proper insulation will help keep your home warm and prevent ice dams from forming.
  7. Consider installing a snow guard or snow fence to prevent snow from sliding off your roof and potentially causing damage or injury.
  8. Hire a professional roof inspector to conduct a thorough inspection of your roof before the winter season starts. A professional inspection can help identify potential problems and ensure your roof is in good condition.


Winter is hardly a friend for your home as roofs are vulnerable to the cold, windy and harsh weather conditions that make roofing issues more common. The checklist items above will help you maintain a sturdy roof to keep your home warm and safe during Winter.

Remember, maintaining your roof is crucial to your home’s overall health and safety. If you are unsure about how to prepare your roof for winter properly, consider consulting with a roofing professional.

UNSW Apartment Owners Survey

NSW Owners: Why did you buy your apartment?

If you bought an apartment in NSW in the last 10 years, UNSW City Futures Research Centre researchers want to hear how you made decisions when purchasing. The aim of the study is to better understand the types of buildings and building features that recent purchasers prefer and why. The survey asks questions about purchaser preferences, needs and choices.
The survey asks approximately 30 questions, and will take 10-15 minutes to complete. Click the link to access the survey: http://bit.ly/unswaptsurvey.
Complete the before 28 May 2023 for a chance to win one of five $100 Coles gift cards!
The project is supported with grant funding from the Government Architect NSW, and findings will inform GANSW’s strategic design leadership and provide insights for planning and policy decisions.

Roof Insulation – it is time to get winter ready!

Roof insulation is essential to maintaining a comfortable living environment in Australian homes, especially in areas with extreme temperatures. Roofs are exposed to different weather conditions and environmental pressures more than any part of your home. Heavy rainfall, snow and sun exposure can cause significant damage to your roof, impacting structural integrity and home liveability.

When you choose to insulate the roof of your building, you are saving money every year, and by regulating internal home temperatures, insulation can provide significant long-term cost savings.

Roof insulation reduces the amount of energy used in your home as the insulation helps regulate the temperature inside the house by preventing heat transfer through the roof, thereby reducing the need for heating and cooling systems. Over time, you will rely less on air conditioning and heating solutions, saving you money.

Here are some of the key benefits of roof insulation in Australia:

  1. Energy efficiency: A well-insulated roof can reduce the energy consumption required for heating and cooling, lowering energy bills and reducing carbon emissions.
  2. Comfort: Insulation helps maintain a comfortable indoor temperature throughout the year, regardless of the weather conditions. It also reduces noise pollution from the outside, creating a peaceful and serene indoor environment.
  3. Health and safety: Insulation can prevent moisture buildup in the roof cavity, leading to mold growth and damage to the building structure. It can also improve indoor air quality by preventing the infiltration of pollutants, dust, and allergens from outside.
  4. Property value: Installing insulation in the roof can increase the property’s value as it enhances the comfort and energy efficiency of the home.

If you want the best roof insulation for your home, hiring a roofing professional at AGC Roof is the best option to retrofit a roof that addresses your home’s structure and environmental conditions.

Overall, roof insulation is crucial to building and maintaining energy-efficient homes in Australia. It helps reduce energy costs, improve comfort and health, and increase the property’s value.

2023-24 Federal Budget – what does it mean for strata and the property sector?

The Treasurer handed down the Federal Budget for 2023-24 yesterday with a focus on combatting the cost of living crisis, inflation and a slowing economy, while planning for the future with investment in health, defence, housing and small business.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Budget overall, and what is most relevant to the strata, property, housing and infrastructure sectors.


The Big Picture – Australia’s Economy in 2023-24

The government’s headline messages included that:

  • A Budget surplus of $4.2 billion is now forecast in 2022-23.
  • This Budget prioritises responsible and targeted cost-of-living relief.
  • The unemployment rate is near 50-year-lows at 3.5 per cent in 2022-23.
  • The unemployment rate over the coming year is projected to remain low by historical standards, rising modestly to 4.25% in 2023-24 and 4.5 per cent in 2024-25.
  • National income is being supported by elevated commodity prices and a strong labour market, which has revised tax receipts upwards by $67.2 billion across 2022-23 and 2023 -24.
  • Global growth is set to slow to 2.75 per cent in 2023, before a modest pick-up to 3 per cent in 2024.
  • The Australian economy is expected to expand by 3.25 per cent in 2022-23.


The Headline Makers – The Budget’s Big Announcements

Energy and Electric Vehicles

  • Australian first National Electric Vehicle Strategy. Inclusion of multi-unit dwellings in the plan is a win for the sector and our advocacy.
  • Household Energy Upgrades Fund – $1bn into the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to fund upgrades.
  • 110,000 low-interest loans for energy-saving home upgrades, in partnership with private lenders.
  • Driving the Nation Fund and Electric Car Discount (previous Budget, but costed in this budget)
  • A new Fuel Efficiency Standard and Transport and Infrastructure Net Zero Roadmap and Action Plan are costed at $15.6 million in this budget.
  • Community Solar Banks and Community Batteries for Household Solar (previously announced but costed in this budget).

Resilience and preparedness

  • Previously flagged and costed $200 million through the Disaster Ready Fund for levee and drainage systems upgrades, building seawalls and bushfire risk reduction projects.
  • National Urban Policy – $159.7 million urban Precincts and Partnerships Program will support funded coordination between Commonwealth and State and Territory Governments.

Small and medium business investment

  • $20,000 instant asset write-off for small businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $10 million, for assets which are first used or installed ready to use between 1 July 2023 and 30 June 2024.
  • At the same time, a new Small Business Energy Incentive for small and medium businesses will allow a bonus 20 per cent tax deduction for the cost of eligible depreciating assets, for a value of up to $100,000 of total expenditure.


  • National Housing and Homelessness Agreement – underway and ready for consultation in 2023, SCA has been engaging with departmental and ministerial officials to ensure strata’s voice is heard.
  • Build to Rent – taxation deductions and benefits that will grow the sector.
  • Affordable rental housing and affordable housing initiatives.
  • Housing Accord – 1 million well located homes with tax concessions down to 15% for build to rent.
  • Community housing providers funding.
  • Affordable housing – Commonwealth rent assistance.
  • Electricity rebate of $500 per household for low-income earning households.

SCA’s Advocacy

Pre-Budget Submission

SCA submitted a Pre-Budget Submission to the Federal Government in January ahead of the Budget, which included priorities in sustainability, building quality and insurance affordability and availability. By issue area:

  • Housing affordability and housing stimulus are a focus for the federal government, however, the increased spending on jobs and skilling present SCA with an opportunity to work with the property and trades sectors to improve building and construction quality through better training and certification.
  • Despite significant attention on sustainability (including renewables, water, waste, EV charging) that was a large focus throughout the election last year, there was very little in terms of new spending on renewables and low emissions in the Budget outside of programs and funding already on offer, with spending focused on technology development and rollout in regional Australia.
  • SCA has continued work to improve insurance affordability and availability throughout the budget cycle with heavy involvement in the design of the Reinsurance Pool and Strata Titles Mitigation Scheme and has successfully delivered messaging on stamp duty and tax relief.

SCA’s Proactive Relationship Building

By successfully targeting federal portfolios with proactive advocacy of the strata sector’s agenda, SCA is well-placed to follow up with advocacy into all aspects of the recent budget announcement, with contact within:

  • Treasury – Insurance.
  • Treasury – Housing.
  • National Housing and Infrastructure Investment Fund (NHFIC).
  • Minister for Housing.
  • Assistant Treasurer – Insurance.
  • Department of Social Services – National Housing and Homelessness Plan.
  • Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
  • Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water – Energy Efficiency, National Energy Ratings Schemes, National Electric Vehicle Strategy.

SCA will continue to advocate for the strata sector by meeting with members of government and opposition, stakeholders, undertaking media activities and member communication.

Sustainable Roofing

Sustainable roofing is an important aspect of green building and can help reduce the environmental impact of buildings while also providing long-term cost savings.

Sustainable roofing refers to roofing materials and systems that are environmentally friendly and help reduce the carbon footprint of buildings.

Here are some examples of sustainable roofing:

  1. Metal roofing: Metal roofing is a durable and long-lasting option that is often made from recycled materials. It is also energy-efficient, reflecting sunlight and reducing the amount of heat absorbed by the building.
  2. Solar roofing: Solar roofing systems generate electricity from the sun, reducing the need for fossil fuels and lowering energy costs. They can be integrated into roofing materials or installed on top of existing roofs.
  3. Green roofing: Green roofing, also known as a living roof or eco-roof, is covered with vegetation and provides insulation, reduces the heat island effect, and improves air quality. It also absorbs rainwater, reducing the amount of runoff that can cause erosion and flooding.
  4. Cool roofing: Cool roofing materials are designed to reflect sunlight and absorb less heat than traditional roofing materials, reducing cooling costs and improving energy efficiency.
  5. Recycled roofing: Some roofing materials, such as shingles, can be made from recycled materials like rubber, plastic, or wood fibers. Using recycled materials helps reduce waste and the need for new resources.
  6. Reclaimed roofing: Reclaimed roofing involves salvaging and reusing old or discarded roofing materials. This reduces the need for new materials and can add character and charm to a building.
  7. Sustainable installation: Proper installation techniques, such as using energy-efficient insulation and sealing air leaks, can help reduce energy consumption and improve the overall sustainability of a building.

Your guide to the most common types of glass

Did you know?? A quick history of glass….

When the Mesopotamians first invented glass around 4,000 years ago, little did they know that one day humans would have such an array of glass products available, each offering varying capabilities in strength, transparency, temperature control and more.

Today, we recognise that glass is an important building material used within domestic, commercial and industrial settings, and it can perform a wide range of functions. From patterned glass that lets in light but maintains privacy, to toughened glass and laminated glass options – for everything from balustrades to shower screens.

Glass can also play a critical role in maintaining the temperature of a building, have a major impact on the natural light levels inside the building, and be integral to a building’s security, longevity, structural integrity and value.

So let’s get back to basics on the types of glass on the market, the features and benefits of each, and their most common applications.

Which is the right kind of glass for your needs?
This is just a snapshot of the most common glass types available, with new combinations and innovations in glass coming to market all the time. Get in touch with our glazing experts for more information.

Annealed, plate or float glass

Annealed glass, also known as plate glass or float glass, is the most basic form of glass and is the starting point for other more advanced forms of glass.

It’s made by melting a mixture of silica sand, soda ash, and limestone, and then floating it on a bed of molten tin, hence the name ‘float glass’. This process creates a uniform thickness and a flat surface, and annealed glass can be easily cut and processed.

However, it isn’t overly strong or safe, and when broken results in large dangerous shards. Its use as a finished product has diminished as safety standards have increased over time, and today is most commonly used in domestic windows.

Toughened glass

Toughened glass, also known as tempered glass, is four to five times stronger than annealed glass, making it commonly used in frameless and semi frameless applications such as glass balustrades, shower screens and commercial shopfronts and doors. It’s made by heating a sheet of annealed glass to over 600°C, and then rapidly cooling the surface. The different cooling rates between the surface and the inside of the glass result in a much stronger glass product.

Toughened glass is more resistant to breakage than annealed glass, and when it does break it shatters into small regular-sized fragments, rather than large unwieldy shards.

Laminated glass

Laminated glass is produced by using heat and pressure to sandwich a very thin layer of poly vinyl butyral (PVB) or another polymer between the glass layers, creating a durable, shatter-resistant glass that can absorb shock and reduce noise.

Safety and security are both great features of laminated glass – the polymer interlayer reduces the risk of shattered glass fragments, and can also make it harder to break through the glass. The polymer interlayer can be used to apply other benefits to the glass such as colouring, fire resistance, UV protection, sound reduction and even structural integrity.

Laminated glass is a popular material in construction, used for things such as building facades and large-scale windows. Most car windscreens are also made from laminated glass.

Patterned glass

Patterned glass is glass that has a design or texture imprinted onto its surface. The patterns can be achieved through a variety of techniques, such as rolling the glass through engraved rollers, acid etching, or sandblasting.

Patterned glass treatments can serve both functional and aesthetic purposes. For example, it can be used to obscure visibility while still allowing light to pass through, making it a popular choice for bathroom windows and shower enclosures. It can also be used for decorative purposes, such as in interior design accents or furniture.

Coated glass

Coated glass refers to glass that has been treated with a thin layer of material, often a metal oxide, to enhance its performance properties.

The coating improves the glass’s thermal insulation, energy efficiency, and transparency. For example, low-emissivity (low-e) coatings can reduce heat loss through windows, while anti-reflective coatings can reduce glare and increase light transmission.

Insulated Glass Units (IGU)

Double glazing through the use of Insulated Glass Units (IGUs) significantly improves the thermal performance of windows, keeping warmth in throughout winter and heat out during summer. Also known as DGUs (Double Glazed Units) IGUs are window units made of multiple glass panels, sealed with a spacer and gas between them.

About Express Glass 

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The Emergency Services Levy – An Inequitable Tax

The Emergency Services Levy (ESL), also referred to as the Fire Services Levy (FSL), is a payment that helps fund certain emergency services in NSW. These services include Fire and Rescue (FRNSW), Rural Fire Services (RFS), and State Emergency Services (SES).

Traditionally, insurance companies collect ESL as part of a customer’s premium on their home, car, and some other commercial insurance policies. The ESL is charged by insurers on the basic premium to fund their liability to the emergency services contribution scheme.

SCA (NSW) believes that as strata insurance is compulsory, strata owners in NSW are doing an unfair share of the heavy lifting by paying the ESL. In 2022-23, the ESL is predicted to raise $1.2 billion from insurance policy holders to fund fire and emergency services. The ESL increases home premiums by approximately 18% per annum and strata owners in NSW are forced to pay these premiums because they are required to purchase compulsory strata insurance.

Unlike other states in Australia, NSW is the only mainland state in Australia that funds its emergency services through a tax on insurance. SCA (NSW) and The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) are supportive of the view that the ESL is an inefficient tax inflating premiums and discourages households from being adequately insured.

In 2020, 53,983 NSW Owners Corporations (OC) paid over $301 million in strata insurance premiums, and approximately $120 million in duties, levies, and taxes claimed over $124 million. Moreover, 39.56% of premiums were paid to state and federal governments, including $52 million from the ESL. In comparison to other states and territories, NSW strata owners paid significantly more in duties, levies, and taxes.

Ultimately, ESL state taxes on insurance in NSW are almost three times higher than in Victoria which has prompted calls for reform to the ESL to improve insurance affordability for the strata community and insurance policy holders.

Sustainability Infrastructure – Improving Strata Schemes Liveability

The Statutory Review of the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 (SSDA) and the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (SSMA) Consultation Paper listed 10 recommendations to improve the liveability of strata complexes. Notably, recommendation 115 will prohibit by-laws that block sustainability infrastructure due to appearance and examine any necessary exemptions to this requirement.

SCA (NSW) does not support recommendation 115 for a blanket prohibition of by-laws that block sustainability infrastructure. Currently, sustainability infrastructure by-laws only require a threshold of most owners to vote in favour of them to be adopted by an owners corporation – unlike other types of by-laws that require no more than 25% of the vote against them to be adopted.

In relation to a blanket prohibition on by-laws that block sustainability infrastructure due to appearance, a developer and an owner’s corporation (OC) could preserve the architectural and landscape standards which were originally approved for development. An example would be solar panels; however, care needs to be taken in a strata community title scheme which has by-laws specifying architectural and landscape standards.

Conversely, in relation to a blanket prohibition on by-laws that block sustainability infrastructure due to issues other than appearance, SCA (NSW) is aware of reasons for such by-laws that go beyond the control of the scheme. For example, a strata scheme made such by-laws to protect all lot owners because those who had installed a charging station or induction cooktop caused a power failure as the allocation of electrical power to the whole strata complex exceeded the electric supply.

Ultimately, SCA (NSW) seeks to improve by-laws to ensure every NSW resident living in a strata complex can experience the highest quality of living.