Page 4783 - Week 11 - Thursday, 20 October 2011
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.
Bill agreed to.
Unit Titles (Management) Bill 2011
Debate resumed from 23 June 2011, on motion by Mr Corbell:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (4.39): The Canberra Liberals will support the Unit Titles (Management) Bill 2011. This bill seeks to move the law relating to the management of unit titles into a dedicated statute. It in fact represents the approach this government should have taken in 2008 and 2009, when it pushed through a range of significant and far-reaching reforms with very little consultation. These reforms caused considerable confusion and anger in the community, particularly amongst unit owners and residents. There was confusion about how the new law would work, what impact it would have on owners corporations and what it meant for individual unit owners and occupiers.
Under pressure from the opposition and crossbench the government finally relented and agreed to address some of the concerns of the community by mounting an extensive, if expensive, information campaign. This was followed by a consultation process which again should have occurred before the bill was introduced in 2008 but which in the end resulted in the much more sensible bill that we have before us today.
In fact this bill is largely the same as the existing legislation but it is easier to follow and understand. It also introduces a range of new provisions. It removes barriers to the adoption of sustainability measures and utility infrastructures. This probably is the most important of the new provisions, for it makes it clear what an owners corporation can and cannot do when it comes to infrastructure for unit plans. The bill introduces a code of conduct for executive committee members. It requires approval of annual administrative and special purpose fund budgets by ordinary resolution instead of by special resolution, thus making the process more efficient and manageable. It creates a clearer linkage between budgets, contributions and expenditure for the general and sinking funds. It provides guidance to the ACAT for the approval of developer control period contracts. It provides for clearer insurance requirements, including compulsory disclosure of insurance details at the AGM of the owners corporation. It enables the minister to determine by disallowable instrument the content of the unit titles certificate and the maximum fee that owners corporations can charge.
In what perhaps is a ground-breaking move for this government, the bill comes with accompanying regulations. I want to compliment the minister for doing something which is often called for in this place and rarely delivered on. The regulation covers