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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 20 October 2011) . . Page.. 4784 ..


prescribed insurance levels, sets a maximum fee of $10 for access to the corporate register and sets the prescribed maximum costs of taking legal action relating to the recovery of contributions. I note that proceedings of this nature can only proceed if the estimate of costs made by the legal adviser is less than the prescribed amount.

The act follows New South Wales and Victoria in setting up separate legislation for the management of unit titles. Had the government taken a more consultative approach back in 2008, perhaps the ACT might have led the charge on such an approach, but in this the ACT has been something of a follower.

I am pleased to have met with representatives of the Owners Corporation Network and the ACT Strata Managers Institute, who, on the whole, are very supportive of the bill. They do raise some issues, which I mention here as a point of reference for further consideration. Perhaps they point to some matters of refinement for the legislation once it is bedded down and gains the experience of operation.

The views that have been put to me by the Owners Corporation Network are as follows: the 10-year period for the sinking fund budget projections should be set up as a rolling 10-year period rather than a static 10-year period; the developer should prepare the initial 10-year sinking fund plan and present it for approval at the first AGM of the owners corporation; a quorum for general meetings should be lower than 50 per cent plus one—it was put to me that there are quorums as low as 20 per cent in other jurisdictions; there should be a restriction on the gathering of proxies such that one individual should not be allowed to carry more than 10 per cent of the proxies; owners corporation schemes should terminate either by a fixed sunset clause date or by a so-termed “super” resolution of around 80 per cent of owners; unopposed resolutions should be replaced with resolutions voted unanimously by those present at the meeting, including by proxy.

The Strata Managers Institute raised the following matters, and I thank the attorney for providing me with a copy of his response to the issues raised by them. The institute wants a provision that allows the owners corporation, in reality the developer, to amend the corporation rules during the developer control period so long as any such amendments are disclosed in sales contracts concluded in that period. It also wants the legislation to clarify whether a corporation manager appointed under the Agents Act will also be required to maintain a trust account, with all the associated reporting requirements, when the owners corporation itself is required to maintain a bank account but not a trust account. It believes the requirements relating to animals could be easier and suggested that the owners corporation could approve guidelines for the executive committee to administer.

The institute also has concerns about privacy issues and who should have access to the register of unit owners and occupiers managed by the owners corporation. The institute, like the owners corporation, has raised the question of the sinking fund and the associated 10-year plan, calling for a clearer provision that requires the sinking fund contributions to be based on the approved 10-year plan.

It has also called for more flexibility for the executive committee members to be able to vote on matters out of session. The institute is concerned about the requirement for


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