The NSW government has recently released its Position Paper outlining the reforms it proposes to make in relation to community scheme laws in NSW.
According to the Position Paper, there are approximately 700 community schemes, 40 precinct schemes and 1,460 neighbourhood schemes in NSW.
During the extensive consultation process, the NSW government has sought feedback on reforming community schemes from peak industry bodies to owners volunteering on their own management committee.
While these reforms have not yet been enacted as legislation, they provide an indication on the proposed changes.
We have listed below some of the key changes proposed by the Position Paper:
1. Greater owner participation
During the consultation process, there were many submissions received which supported the use of alternative methods of attendance at meetings including social media, video and teleconferencing or other methods which may become available in the future including the acceptance of postal or electronic votes.
2. Electronic Storage and Distribution of Documents
It is proposed that the laws be amended to permit documents to be given to owners electronically if owners have agreed to this form of communication.
3. Secret Ballots
The current law does not provide for anonymous voting through secret ballots. It is proposed the new laws will recognise voting on a motion by secret ballot. At least 25 percent of the members of an association attending a meeting would need to support a secret ballot being held. Associations could also choose to adopt a by-law outlining the matters or class of matters that are to be subject to a secret ballot.
4. Committee Members Functions
The Position Paper proposes changes so that committee members are to carry out their functions without favour, for the benefit of owners of the scheme they represent, and to act with due care and diligence.
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