Electronic AGM

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  • #227802
    Rod
    Member

    Hi Amanda , I have been a strong advocate of electronic meetings / voting until recently …my logic being the convenience . However our very recent AGM was electronic because of the C-19 however I asked the Strata Manager some questions to which the answers were of great concern. My first question was how do I propose an amendment to a motion : he said this was not possible whereas it is at face to face AGM . My amendment was a very serious issue so I was deflated. So I then asked how do I address the lot owners with concerns regarding a proposed motion : the answer was that I had no such provision . Finally I had many questions on anomalies in the financials , I suspect it is lack of explanation rather than a darker reason ; again I was told there is no means of questioning in the event of an electronic meeting . Hence I am now an avid objector to electronic meetings as open discussion amongst lot owners is not possible [ gagged in my opinion ] by the lack of flexibility in electronic meetings .

    Hence my questions are : was I provided the correct advise by the Manager ?. Secondly what suggestions do you have to overcome the barriers I was confronted with ?.
    I await your answers but on the evidence at the moment I suggest electronic meetings be banned unless somehow open discussion regarding queries is possible .

    #228020
    ts1904
    Expert

    Hi Rod,

    I know first hand that this is probably the first time most of us will have experienced online meetings, having been forced into it by lockdowns.

    A lot of this is unchartered territory for us all and I’m sure we will all learn from this as we step into the new age of strata meetings.

    Clause 14 of the Regulations is where I have looked for the answer here:

    (3)  If a matter may be determined partly by pre-meeting electronic voting, the notice of the meeting must include a statement that the relevant motion may be amended by a further motion given at the meeting after the pre-meeting electronic voting takes place and that consequently the pre-meeting vote may have no effect.

    (4)  A motion that is to be determined wholly by pre-meeting electronic voting may not be amended at the meeting for which the pre-meeting electronic voting is conducted.

    (5)  A motion that is to be determined partly by pre-meeting electronic voting must not be amended at the meeting for which the pre-meeting electronic voting is conducted if the effect of the amendment is to change the subject matter of the original motion.

    (6)  If a motion that is to be determined wholly or partly by pre-meeting electronic voting is amended at the meeting for which the pre-meeting electronic voting is conducted, the minutes of the meeting distributed to owners must be accompanied by notice of the change and a statement setting out the power to make a qualified request for a further meeting under section 19 of the Act.

    My view is that unless the notice of the meeting states that the matters may be determined partly by pre-meeting voting, then we can assume they are being determined wholly by pre-meeting voting and therefore cannot be amended.

     

    For our clients, we’re offering to hold a pre-AGM videoconference via Zoom. The owners can call in to that meeting, ask any questions or seek clarification, then cast their votes. At that point, you could encourage the other owners to vote against any motions that you feel should not be passed, and suggest that another meeting be called in future to deal with those issues. Perhaps that next meeting could be held via videoconferencing.

    I know that in the coming months we will all learn a great deal about what works and what does not work. Those at the forefront of the industry will prevail in providing innovative solutions for strata schemes. Trial and error will be the way forward.

    I’m not sure that we will ever go back to meetings in person, at least in the same way as before. Time will tell, but I do know that the strata management industry is trying to move away from strata managers having to spend every night of their week running meetings (no offence to the punters, but it is a tough gig). I think we will see a lot more videoconferencing and online meeting combinations to tell you the truth, but we need to do it in such a way that promotes, not stifles the conversation and community aspect of strata living.

    #231060
    SydneyChair
    Member

    Thanks for the question and the response. I can see it’s critical we include a statement to the effect of clause 14(3) in any notice of meeting, as well as one addressing 14(6) in any minutes, should a motion be amended.

    I’m adjusting my draft notice for our building’s AGM right now!

    #231423
    Amanda Farmer
    Expert

    Nice work, SydneyChair.

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