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Just read the Agenda for our upcoming EGM in two weeks and one of the miscreant owners has submitted a motion to review the validity of the Standing Orders accepted by the majority at the AGM.
Our new SM has never had to deal with Standing Orders before, so is now trying to find out what she can say at the upcoming meeting to address this motion.
There is nothing in the SSMA.
Can you guys help me and also our SM.
This is what the Standing Orders are and was accepted by the majority of owners at our last AGM via a motion for all meetings for the next 12 months…it is not supported by a By-Law.
- The meeting will be governed by the terms of Schedule 1 of the NSW Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 and relevant regulations.*
- The meeting must be chaired by the elected chairperson unless they are absent or unable to do so, in which case those in attendance and entitled to vote must elect a chair for the duration of that meeting.*
- Owners who wish to be represented by a proxy at the meeting must nominate that proxy in writing before the start of the meeting or as soon as possible thereafter.
- In the interest of fair hearing for all owners, owners represented by a nominated proxy may not also speak on issues if they have nominated a proxy to speak on their behalf. Only one speaker is allowed per lot and the chair may rule additional speakers out of order.
- The chair should make it clear to non-owner proxies that they are bound by the Standing Orders.
- The committee will consider the items on the agenda in the order in which they appear unless a majority of the committee agrees to change the order at the meeting.
- The Chairperson will allow each owner or their nominated proxy to speak only once on a topic until everyone who wants to speak has had a chance to do so. The same restriction will apply after each time an attendee speaks.
- Attendees and members who interrupt, talk out of turn or talk over other members may be warned verbally that their behaviour is not acceptable.
- If the interruptions and disruptive behaviour is repeated despite a warning, the chairman may declare that they will ‘name’ the miscreant in the minutes of the meeting.
- The meeting will be called to a close after the final item on the agenda has been discussed and voted upon.
- There is no “any other business”. Any items not on the agenda can only be discussed informally after the end of the meeting and no vote should be taken or recorded.*
- *Items 1, 2 and 11 are part of NSW strata laws or regulations.
You’d be in a better position if the standing orders had been adopted as a by-law. Perhaps you should put that on the agenda for the next meeting.
If I were your strata manager, I would say this:
The standing orders are merely a framework to allow for the efficient running of meetings. As a concept they are widely accepted across the world, for businesses, clubs, societies and political institutions.
The standing orders for this strata scheme have been designed based on those in place elsewhere, including other strata schemes in this and other states.
A need to enhance them was perceived due to past disruptive behaviour by owners and non-owners who either didn’t understand that there has to be a reasonable basis for civilised discussion, or chose to ignore it.
The Strata Scheme Management Act 2015 does not mention who may or may not speak at meetings.
It is left to the chair of the committee to decide how we should proceed and in this scheme, it has been decided that these standing orders provide a structure based on fairness, transparency and common sense.
These standing orders provide a clear set of sensible ground rules that allow all owners OR their representatives, to participate without fear or favour.
They specifically preclude owners and their proxies from working together to multiply their influence over the meeting, by haranguing, harassing or bullying other owners who wish to speak.
Technically speaking, they would also permit only one co-owner to speak at a time (since the other has to provide a proxy vote). In this way, you can see that these standing orders are neither discriminatory nor oppressive.
Finally I would invite the complaining owner to explain what it is that she wants to do that the standing orders don’t permit.
Hope this helps
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