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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 December 2020) . . Page.. 47 ..

The bill also amends the Unit Titles Management Act to exempt the chairperson at any general meeting from the restrictions on numbers of proxy votes and provide that the chairperson must exercise excess proxy votes.

Restrictions on proxy voting are introduced with the Unit Titles Legislation Amendment Act 2020, with the intention of avoiding voting behaviour such as vote stacking, which may lead to unfair meeting outcomes. Currently if a unit owner nominates to a proxy, that proxy is not eligible to hold the proxy vote due to having already reached the proxy vote limit. That owner may be unfairly and possibly unknowingly unable to vote.

Exempting the chairperson from proxy voting restrictions, and providing that the chairperson must exercise excess proxy votes, intends to make sure that all the unit owners can exercise their voting rights for the efficient and effective running of the meetings and, by extension, the efficient and effective management of the units plan.

A chairperson is generally also the chairperson of the executive committee, who not only has a casting vote on deadlock matters but also, as an executive member, is subject to the code of conduct and must act in the best interest of the units’ owners corporation. As such, the chairperson is unlikely to partake in the sort of unfair behaviour that proxy voting restrictions were introduced to address.

This bill makes amendments that will improve, clarify and streamline legislation that relates to unit titles and the community concessional leases. While the amendments in the bill are minor in nature, the changes they make are necessary and worthwhile improvements to the ACT statute book.

I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Hanson) adjourned to the next sitting.

Inaugural speeches

MADAM SPEAKER: Before I call Ms Vassarotti, I remind members that it is traditional that inaugural speeches be heard in silence.

MS VASSAROTTI (Kurrajong) (11.04), by leave: As I begin my first speech as an elected member, I would like to acknowledge that we meet on land of the Ngunnawal people. I thank and pay my respects to elders past, present and emerging. As someone whose family story has intersected with local First Nations people for over a century, I recognise that sovereignty was never ceded and that this was, is and always will be Aboriginal land. I pledge to do what I can through this Assembly to engage with truth, work towards treaty and support the voices of First Nations people.

Madam Speaker, it is a tremendously humbling experience to stand here as an elected member of the Tenth Assembly. I thank the voters of Kurrajong who have put faith in me and the ACT Greens and have voted for a second Greens representative in the electorate for the very first time ever. I congratulate every other member of the

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