Stra­ta Schemes Gen­er­al Meet­ings in light of COVID-19

It has just been announced that the NSW Par­lia­ment is con­sid­er­ing reforms to the Stra­ta Schemes Man­age­ment Act 2015 (SSMA) to remove the need for face-to-face meet­ings and allow own­ers cor­po­ra­tions to oper­ate elec­tron­i­cal­ly. In the mean­time, own­ers cor­po­ra­tions are still required com­ply with their oblig­a­tions to hold meet­ings in com­pli­ance with the SSMA.

Under the Stra­ta Schemes Man­age­ment Reg­u­la­tion 2016, there are two meth­ods in which an own­ers cor­po­ra­tion can vote by oth­er means:

  • by elec­tron­ic means from a remote loca­tion ie tele­con­fer­ence, video-con­fer­ence and email; and
  • by email, bal­lot paper or oth­er elec­tron­ic means before the meet­ing (pre-meet­ing elec­tron­ic voting).
  • a scheme with 20 lots or less, one,
  • a scheme with more than 20 lots, not more than 5% of the total num­ber of lots.

In order for the own­ers cor­po­ra­tion to vote by oth­er means’ (under Clause 14 of the Stra­ta Schemes Man­age­ment Reg­u­la­tion 2016 (Clause 14′)) a res­o­lu­tion must be passed at a gen­er­al meet­ing in person.

Under clause 28 of Sched­ule 1 of the SSMA, a vote at a meet­ing by a per­son enti­tled to vote or by a proxy must be cast in per­son unless the own­ers cor­po­ra­tion, by res­o­lu­tion passed at a gen­er­al meet­ing, deter­mines that a vote may be cast by some oth­er spec­i­fied means. 

Note, under Clause 14 sub­sec­tion 1(b), pre-meet­ing elec­tron­ic vot­ing can­not occur when elec­tions are to be deter­mined at the meeting. 

What to do if no res­o­lu­tion for elec­tron­ic meet­ing has been passed

If the own­ers cor­po­ra­tion have not passed a res­o­lu­tion for elec­tron­ic vot­ing there is a way to reduce the amount of peo­ple in atten­dance at a gen­er­al meet­ing by appoint­ing prox­ies (not­ing that there is a lim­i­ta­tion on the num­ber of prox­ies that may be held).

The total num­ber of prox­ies that may be held by a per­son are as follows:

To achieve quo­rum at the meet­ing (pur­suant to clause 17(2)(a) of Sched­ule 1 of the SSMA), there must be not less than one-quar­ter of the per­sons present.

If quo­rum is not achieved, please note that the chair­per­son under clause 17(4) of Sched­ule 1 of the SSMA may declare after half an hour that the per­sons present either per­son­al­ly or by duly appoint­ed proxy and are enti­tled to vote on the motion or elec­tion con­sti­tute a quo­rum for con­sid­er­ing that motion or business…’.

Please note that this is not legal advice. If you require inde­pen­dent legal advice as to your stra­ta scheme please con­tact us.