Body Corporate meetings and voting have received a modern transformation through the Body Corporate and Community Management (Standard Module) Regulation 2020 (Qld), with the introduction of the use of electronic technology. Now that it has been introduced, body corporate committees and their members should be aware of how and when it can be used and the frameworks that the body corporate must have in place to allow its usage.
A voter can now vote in a committee election and motions by casting an electronic vote, as well as the previously established method of a hard copy vote. Electronic voting can be used in both open and secret ballot committee elections however, the use of electronic voting is not an automatic option for voters. For electronic voting to be an option, the body corporate must decide by ordinary resolution that voters can cast their vote electronically.
If the body corporate does pass a resolution to allow electronic voting for a committee election, a voter can vote electronically while also being present at the meeting, allowing the option for a voter to cast their vote electronically through a computer, smartphone or tablet while being personally present at the committee meeting.
Requirements on Body Corporate for Electronic Voting
There is no minimum threshold as to what actions would be considered as disentitling conduct.
The regulations have established that if an electronic vote is cast, the body corporate must have framework in place that protects the integrity of the voting process. This means that if a body corporate passes the resolution to allow electronic voting, the body corporate must have an operating system for receiving electronic votes that:
- allows only the secretary of the body corporate to receive the electronic votes;
- can reject a vote cast by a person who is not eligible to vote in the election, or has already voted in the election; and
- in a secret ballot, does not disclose the identity of the voter who casted the electronic vote.
Requirements of Casting an Electronic Vote
If a vote is to be cast electronically, the secretary of the body corporate should prepare instructions to be sent to voters as to how they should cast their electronic votes. The instructions should be sent to the voter with the notices for annual general meetings and should advise voters of the requirements to comply with how a document should be signed electronically under the Electronic Transactions (Queensland) Act 2001.
A voter should complete and return their electronic vote so that it is received before the annual general meeting or if an electronic vote may be cast at the general meeting, before the votes are counted.
Attendance at Body Corporate Meetings
How and who can attend meetings have also been reformed to allow attendance electronically. Voting and non-voting committee members can now attend committee meetings electronically, if approved by a resolution of the committee.
Attending committee meetings has also been extended to not just voting and non-voting members but also an owner of a lot or their representative or another person who is invited to attend by a majority of voting members of the committee. If owners wish to attend a committee meeting, they must give the secretary of the body corporate written notice of their intention to attend no later than 24 hours before the meeting is to be held.
If a person wishes to attend the meeting electronically, they may do so by:
- teleconference; or
The body corporate has the ultimate decision for determining how to use electronic attendance at meetings. They can authorise electronic attendance for a particular meeting or any meetings and attendance by a specific electronic method or any electronic method.
Delivery of Body Corporate Documents
Body Corporates can now serve documents or information to an owner of a lot by email, as well as the previously established Australian postal address or residential or business address outside Australia.
If an owner of a lot provides the body corporate with an email address, the owner is taken to have consented to being served any document or information by email. Therefore, if you are an owner, you should be aware that if you provide the Body Corporate with an email address, you are consenting to them sending you documents and notices, including meeting agendas, by email.
If you require assistance with any issue in regards to body corporate matters in Queensland then please contact the property team at NB Lawyers for more information.
Kayleigh Swift, Associate
Kayleigh Swift is an associate in our Commercial and Property team who assists with Employment Law matters. With a high level of experience in commercial and retail leasing, voluntary and involuntary purchase and sale acquisitions, property development and employee relations, Kayleigh provides practical advice to ensure smooth business transactions.
Chloe Skubis, Lawyer
Chloe Skubis is a Lawyer in our Property team who assists with various conveyancing transactions. Chloe is very experienced in residential conveyancing and is a problem solver. She always provides efficient service to all her clients.