We were very lucky last weekend to catch up with Labor spokesperson for Better Regulation and Innovation Yasmin Catley who, current polls suggest, is a very real prospect of being NSW’s next Minister for Consumer Affairs (she will ditch the Ministry of Long Names title).
Yasmin has been getting a lot of coverage in Flat Chat recently for one simple reason – she has been talking about strata and things she wants to do to make our lives better.
Better Regulations Minister Matt Kean has, admittedly, been pre-occupied with the Opal building and the cladding issue (not that he’s doing much on that front except scaring people, according to this story).
Mr Kean was also invited to chat with us on the podcast but we didn’t even get a response. He’s a very busy man, not least because if the Liberals lose, his mentor, the premier, will probably be rolled and he’s her numbers man.
For the record, I won’t be voting either Labor or Liberal in the NSW election and at various times I have promoted the efforts of Liberal Fair Trading Ministers Roberts, Dominello and Kean (although the latter turned out to be a huge disappointment when it came to Airbnb).
But it’s refreshing to have someone who has a real chance of making a difference talking about issues that are important to us, the people who are living in apartments right now.
Yes, building defects are important, but the changes proposed by the government will only affect blocks that haven’t even been started yet.
Meanwhile they have let us down on Airbnb-style holiday lets, flammable cladding and making builders and developers responsible for defects that exist right now.
In this week’s podcast, Ms Catley makes a very convincing argument as to why she would be a better champion for apartment residents – owners and tenants – than anyone in the current mob.
She’s proposing a register for holiday lets, an opt-in option (with the default being no holiday lets) for Airbnb in apartment blocks, more protection for tenants, a strata commissioner and shifting strata to housing and and building and away from broken toys and dodgy mechanics. In short, it’s more about people living is strata rather than profits for developers and investors.
Also, we pick up the second half of our chat with Owners Corporation Network chair Phil Gall, when we get into Airbnb (again), why most politicians don’t get strata, Fair Trading (we disagree) and the future of OCN.
I won’t say too much more. Just listen to the podcast … it might make you think again about which way you are going to vote next week.
You can listen to the podcast by clicking here. Enjoy.