BUGT Act and Other Legislation Amendments
On 29 April 2022, a Consultation Draft of the Building Units and Group Titles and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 (the Bill) was provided to the REIQ for consultation. The REIQ reviewed the Bill and provided a Submission to the Office of Regulatory Practice on 13 May 2022.
The proposed changes relate to complex property development schemes in Queensland subject to the Building Units and Group Titles Act 1980 (BUGT Act) and five special purpose planning Acts that were conjunctionally introduced to regulate such developments, and to which the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (BCCM Act) and regulation modules do not apply.
These developments have a unique use, ownership, and governance structure, including in most instances, comprising of several subsidiary body corporates that operate over distinct areas of the development.
In our Submission, we provided our comments:
- requesting clarification about how information and education services will be delivered to stakeholders;
- supporting the enhanced dispute resolution process;
- seeking clarification on the introduced statutory requirement for the body corporate to “act reasonably” in line with the drafting of the BCCM Act;
- raising the practical realities of adopting changes in a complex layered scheme compared to a simple scheme;
- supporting new provisions relating to eligibility of persons to become members of the body corporate committee;
- supporting equitable representation of subsidiary body corporates in higher-level body corporate committees; and
- supporting changes to procedural matters with voting and committee members rights to be modernised and align with the BCCM Act.
Notably, the Commercial and Property Law Research Centre (the Centre) which was engaged to conduct an independent review of the BUGT Act and special purpose planning Act, released its Final Report1 in 2018.
In summary, the Centre recommended:
- that the BUGT Act and other special purpose Acts should be amended so that they are consistent with the BCCM Act, particularly with respect to dispute resolution and procedural issues; and
- that the State Government should engage with body corporates and interested stakeholders in the schemes under the BUGT Act and specified Acts to determine the most appropriate method of implementation and extend to which there is a need for further legislative reform.
We consider the 2018 report provides a thorough and balanced overview of matters which were in consultation and to which the Bill sought to resolve. It is clear from the Report that interested parties overwhelmingly supported the adoption of provisions of the BCCM Act to clarify and provide scope to the BUGT Act and other specified Acts.
The REIQ submitted that it supports the Bill as it does appear to modernise the procedural operation of body corporates subject to the BUGT Act and other special purpose planning Acts.
The REIQ also provided recommendation to the Department that it should place the greatest weight on those submissions provided by the body corporates, lot owners and their representative membership bodies, particularly, those that have a specific interest in the named body corporates that each of the special purpose Acts relate to as these parties can provide the requisite insight as to the impact of the proposed changes to these schemes.
This Bill was introduced into Parliament on 21 June 2022 and was passed into law on 8 November 2022. Most amendments will commence on 1 December 20222.
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