Apartment and townhouse owners require carbon compo: industry body

Strata and community title property owners are unlikely to be compensated in any carbon tax compensation package, according to lobby group Strata Community Australia (SCA).

The industry body claims about one third of energy usage in strata buildings is in common services such as lifts, air-conditioning and security lighting and is thus beyond the direct control of individuals.

Any change to energy use, SCA argues, requires a concerted and collective effort as well as specialist knowledge.

The SCA estimates there are about two million strata and community title lots in 270,000 schemes across Australia.

It has voiced its concerns less than a week before the government reveals the details of its carbon tax package on July 10.

According to the 2006 Census, 22.5 % of Australian households were in medium and high density dwellings.

According to SCA chief executive Mark Lever, any compensation package will be “fundamentally flawed” without specific measures to help Australia's 270,000 body corporates adjust to a low-carbon future.

Lever says the sector has already missed out on a “long list of past and present programs which failed to recognise that almost a quarter of Australian households do not live in standard detached housing”.

"We have seen governments time and again tailor programs for individuals and businesses and overlook the fact that, for many, basic services are provided through communal structures.

“Recent examples include disaster relief, renewable energy incentives and the home insulation program," he says.

Strata Community Australia is the new name of the National Community Titles Institute, which advocates on behalf of body corporates and community title and strata property owners.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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