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Seconding motions – is that really necessary?

02 Aug 2013

No.

This could be the shortest newsletter in history but we will elaborate just a little bit.

In a body corporate context there are two types of meetings at which motions are considered. 

General meetings

The agenda includes every motion that is to be considered at the meeting. The motions are on that agenda because they have been proposed in accordance with the Act. The owner put it in before the required submission date, the committee proposed it at any stage, or they are statutory motions that must go on the agenda every time (as example, confirmation of the minutes of the last meeting).

There is no reason for someone to propose it and second it at the meeting itself.  There is nothing under either BCCM Act or any Module that requires a seconder. If that was required, it would mean that the single owner voicing opposition to a particular position without the support of any other owner could not be heard, and that is not what the BCCM Act is about.

Once a motion is on the agenda, it must be considered or otherwise dealt with in accordance with the Act.

There is no legal scope for new motions to be put forward from the floor of the meeting. There is certainly scope to amend a motion or a budget within certain parameters, or to overturn a chairperson’s decision to rule a motion out of order, but neither of these are new matters at the meeting.

All of this is designed to allow all owners to participate equally in the body corporate decision making process.  It prevents owners who cannot be at the meeting from being disenfranchised by not being able to attend.

Committee meetings

From a committee meeting perspective it is the secretary who calls meetings and must snd the agenda. What is on that agenda is a secretarial decision in the absence of a committee directive, but the Module allows the committee to ‘consider other issues raised at the meeting.’

This would include other motions that committee members might want to put up to be voted on – and again – without any need for there to be a seconder.  Otherwise, you would need two committee members for any motion, and again, that is not what the BCCM Act is about.

Each committee member has been elected to represent the owners and therefore each has a voice to be able to put forward motions of their own volition, even if they are not on the agenda sent to owners before the meeting.  All motions considered at the meeting must always be sent to owners afterwards.

Committee members have significant constraints in terms of what they can decide that can bind the body corporate so there is a bit more flexibility in terms of their decision making process.

Contact

Frank Higginson, Director

Jason Carlson, Senior Associate

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