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Estimates: Questions on body corporate reforms

During Parliamentary Estimates on Monday 14 December 2020, I asked a few questions about body corporate reforms.

You can read the answers below or in the official Queensland Parliament Record of Proceedings (Hansard).

Mr BERKMAN: I think the chair has ruled that that is legitimate, so I might just proceed. Firstly, I refer to the 2017 QUT report on seller disclosure in Queensland and recommendation 5 of that report which proposed that a seller of a proposed lot under the BCCMA should be required to attach a copy of any building management statement that will be registered over lots in that scheme. My question to the director-general is did that recommendation make it into law and, if not, what is the government’s stance in relation to it?

Mr Mackie: I would like to take that on notice and try to answer that before the end of the hearing. I believe it had been in the modules that are coming into regulation I thought in March, but I will double-check that.

Mr BERKMAN: Secondly, is the government considering going further to extinguish unfair and oppressive terms in building management statements to bring BMS under the protections offered by the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management?

Mr Mackie: That is quite a detailed question. I would probably seek some time to get back to you on that as well. The QUT reports that have come out around body corporate and seller disclosure and property law are still going through quite significant consultation processes with peak bodies et cetera. It is going to be a staged release. I know it has been going on for a while, but it is a highly controversial issue when it comes to lot entitlement owners and owners of properties. I will come back to you on that specific question.

Ms FENTIMAN: We made an election commitment to progress the Property Law Review, and I acknowledge that it is incredibly complex and has taken some time. We have also committed to establish the new strata legislation working group. It will be chaired by the commissioner for liquor and gaming regulation and will consist of stakeholder representatives. A lot of work has already been done in that space by the commissioner. It will consider all strata issues, including: whether the statutory duty of care owed to body corporates by building professionals should be legislated, dispute resolution and caretaker duties. We made an election commitment to progress the Property Law Act review. We are already moving to establish our working group, which will be chaired by the commissioner, and those regulations are coming into effect as well. We will get you more detail on that before the end of the session.

More information was provided a little later:

Mr Mackie: This may not directly answer the member for Maiwar's issue. I mentioned before the regulations around body corporates that are coming into effect in March 2021. They deal with facilitating the use of electronic technologies to attend and vote at body corporate meetings and to give and receive documents with bodies corporate; secondly, expanding the package of vital information and documents that developers are required to provide to bodies corporate at their first annual general meeting; and thirdly, encouraging early identification and remedy of building defects by requiring a body corporate to consider a motion to prepare a defect assessment report at its second annual meeting. I know that does not go down to the detail you were asking, Member.

Basically, what that means is your particular issue may be someway addressed by some of those regulations. If you require some further information, I can get that for you.

Mr BERKMAN: Any further information you can give on the specifics of building management statements would be much appreciated if that can come by the end of the session or on notice if at all possible.

Mr Mackie: Sure.

And later again:

Mr Mackie: If I may, sorry to interject, I am trying to get as much information back to the committee as I can before the end. I notice the member for Maiwar is not here, but he did ask a question about the disclosure of building management statements as part of body corporate. I can confirm that that matter is not involved in the regulations that are coming through in March 2021, which I said before. However, there is a community titles legislative working group being chaired by the commissioner of the Office of Fair Trading in my department. I am more than happy if the member would like to make a submission to the commissioner and that can be incorporated in those discussions with the key stakeholders.

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