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QUESTION: Is there any organised lobbying going on to limit the number of proxies that may be held by any one owner at general meetings? I believe that in Queensland it is restricted to two.
At a townhouse complex, from where we recently moved because we could not stand it any longer, one woman managed to acquire at least seven proxies from people with little command of English. Is there anyone in authority we can write to about this? – HPC, via Flat Chat Forum.
ANSWER: There is certainly a concern in strata about the ‘clustering’ of proxy votes into too few hands, one reason it’s illegal for developers to demand them in contracts. However strata law in NSW is so deeply flawed that the issue is pretty far down the hit list for change.
I hadn’t heard about the limit in Queensland so it may just be wishful thinking. The problem with limiting the number of proxies one person can hold is that you could disenfranchise owners who can’t find proxy holders who agree with them and haven’t exceeded their limit.
That said, by not limiting it, you allow clustering through either active campaigning such as you describe or ‘blind’ proxies passed to office-bearers because they haven’t screwed up recently.
I would favour a voting form that goes out with the agenda with a yes or no box on all the agenda items. That way you can campaign on issues rather than personalities which, unfortunately, is what it usually comes down to under the current system.
As far as who to write to, even a legal but unfair decision can be challenged at the CTTT or in court. But now that you’ve left that complex, all you can do is write to your MP and ask them if they have any clue what’s happening in strata, if not why not, and if so, what they’re doing about it.
Join the discussion or ask your own question at flat-chat.com.au/forum. And Jimmy will be on the James Valentine show on ABC 702 to answer your questions on Tuesday, March 29 at 2pm.
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