Angry ratepayers at a community forum at Little Bay on 28 March 2018 demanded Randwick Council change its subdivision policy that inhibits their ability to sell. 

Sixty from a crowd of 200 rose to speak against the policy where owners of property below 800sqm are unable to subdivide their properties into strata or Torrens title. 

Residents with properties below 800sqm but above 450sqm can build dual occupancies but the properties must be sold using company title. 

“If council change their policy I’d be able to get a loan tomorrow and start building almost straight away,” said high school teacher Donald Szallasi. “I can’t keep waiting for ever. I foresee that I’ll no longer be able to work as a teacher because I’ve got lung problems.” 

The council said it could take up to 12 months to amend the Randwick Local Environment Plan. 

Banks and mortgage lenders were forced by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority to tighten lending criteria and no longer lend to company titled property. 

Steve Wald from Chifley, bought his duplex three years ago when banks were still lending. 

“It did take a bit longer. There were a lot of extra documents needed. Nobody mentioned that this sort of thing would change.”  

“This policy makes me worry that in the future when I’m trying to provide for my kids I may not be able to,”

“This policy makes me worry that in the future when I’m trying to provide for my kids I may not be able to,” he said. 

Randwick Council said its policy was to discourage speculative development and preserve amenity. The policy allowed larger families and aging parents to live close together. 

Dual occupancies could also be rented out to provide income and increase affordable housing. 

Company title was used to subdivide blocks of flats before strata title was introduced in the 1960s. A company owns the whole block and owners buy a share that represents their property. Company titled properties have historically been subject to tighter lending criteria and are seen as more affordable. 

Randwick Council have to be left to do their deliberation without any interference from me. I don’t want to end up in ICAC.” 

Maroubra Labor MP Michael Daley addressed the forum. “I hear you loud and clear. But Randwick Council have to be left to do their deliberation without any interference from me. I don’t want to end up in ICAC.” 

Mr Daley had rung the Minister for Planning and asked if he could bring a delegation of residents, council planners and the general manager to see him. They wanted to ask about making a retrospective change to convert their properties to strata or Torrens title. 

The minister said to bring them in and he’d do what he could. 

“I’m muscling up” said Mr Daley.

“I’m muscling up” said Mr Daley. “And I’m happy for somebody to come with me and we’ll muscle the minister together.”

Community consultation will continue until May 4. 

Randwick Mayor Lindsay Shurey did not respond for requests for comment.

UPDATE: Randwick Council has changed its policy due to the pressure of the affected owners: Click here for the update.