Body corp sector alarm over new act
QUEENSLAND'S peak organisation representing the body corporate and strata title sector is urging the State Government to take back to the drawing board proposed new legislation which it says will be an administrative nightmare and will cast a question mark over future land ownership and title provisions.
The Queensland Parliament's Legal Affairs and Safety Committee has asked for feedback on the Liquor and Gaming (Red Tape Reduction) and Other Legislation Amendments Bill 2013, which the peak strata organisation, Strata Community Australia, is providing.
The submission tendered by Strata Community Australia strongly opposes the proposed changes to the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 and the Acquisition of Land Act 1967 which seek to diminish the rights of bodies corporate when a constructing authority resumes part of an existing land holding.
The constructing authority is usually the state or local authority authorised by the Act to take land for any purpose, such as the Department of Transport and Main Roads.
"The proposed amendments will assist constructing authorities to finalise their resumption projects sooner, within a very restrictive four-month period," Simon Barnard, president of SCA (Qld) said.
"The rights of the bodies corporate and unit owners whose land is being acquired will be further diminished. If the amendments are enacted they will disempower bodies corporate and unfairly advantage constructing authorities."
Currently, when a constructing authority notifies a body corporate that it intends to resume part of the scheme land, the body corporate is required to obtain independent professional advice about how the resumption will affect the lot entitlements at the scheme.
"A tighter time period to obtain professional advice and include all committee members will mean many owners will not even be aware of these impending changes and may miss out on the right to negotiate at all," Mr Barnard said.
"The amendments propose to remove the body corporate's entitlement to obtain its own advice. Instead the advice will be provided by a person chosen by the constructing authority and the body corporate will have no opportunity to query or dispute that advice
"It's our role to make sure bodies corporate are aware of the proposed provisions and understand how they apply. Bodies corporate need to be afforded opportunity to consider their own professional advice about the effect of the resumption on their lot entitlements. Time given to negotiate is essential to uphold bodies corporate rights."