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The official newsletter of Unit Owners Association QLD • • • • • • • • • • • • •

UOAQ policies will save the QLD tourism industry

The Future of Management Rights By Gary Bugden

Some would say that the time has finally arrived to start the phasing out of management rights in Queensland. This article examines the merit of that argument.

solutions to a range of problems, while the Courts have trod the delicate line of weighing up the rights and obligations of parties to management rights disputes.

For over 30 years Queensland bodies corporate, Governments and the Courts have battled to cope with the challenges presented by the concept of management rights. As far back as the early 1980’s the body corporate for Thornton Towers on the Gold Coast acted to sack its on-site manager and establish its own on-site rental program.

Legislative intervention has resulted in Queensland body corporate legislation growing from 178 pages in 1980 to 1,061 pages in 2011. The following changes were in some way related to management rights issues at the time they were introduced:

Arguably, every year since then, some body corporate somewhere in Queensland has been battling with its on-site manager over performance or other contractual issues. Over the same period successive Queensland Governments have changed body corporate legislation in an attempt to impose legislative

• • • • • •

Restrictions on the terms of management contracts Purchaser disclosure requirements Multiple regulatory environments in the form of different regulation “modules” Restriction on proxy votes Ability to prohibit proxy voting Restrictions on contractual provisions relating to proxies

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Restrictions on powers of the committee Restrictions on exclusive use grants to onsite managers Restrictions on improving common property Special procedures and materials for meetings considering management rights Restrictions on successive motions on management rights issues Introduction of secret ballots Prohibitions on certain payments on transfer of management contracts Introduction of a transfer fee Tailored dispute resolution processes and remedies Codes of Conduct Implied terms in management contracts Restrictions on the cancellation of management contracts Forced assignment of management contracts.

While it would be an exaggeration to suggest that all of the additional 900 odd pages of legislative changes were management rights related, it is clear from the above list that management rights issues were a very significant contributor to the proliferation of the legislative environment over the past 30 years. Sadly, it seems clear that: • •

This proliferation has not succeeded in resolving management rights issues. The complexity introduced by the above changes has made life substantially more difficult for bodies corporate who have no involvement with management rights.

Continued Page 6

See Inside the July Edition Community Title Scheme

See Page 3 Living costs

See Page 4 50 Free Financial Evaluations

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Quick News

Frances Asks ..

with Frances Ronnfeldt

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Frances Ronnfeldt, a Brisbane based Body Corporate Manager hits the pavement to see just how much the general public knows about Body Corporate.

Unit Owners Assocation QLD

This months’s QUESTION-

6th Floor. 333 Adelaide St, Brisbane Q 4000 E help@uoaq.org.au P 3220 0959 uoaq.org.au

Brisbane

P 3220 0959 or www.uoaq.org.au and request to communicate to a particular person Sue Ekert, Bob Boundy, Elle Young, Paul Cassels. Published by Unit Owners Association QLD Editor Paul Cassels

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Wayne Stevens, Greg Carroll, Roger Dearing

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We appreciate the support of our sponsors to help us do the work we do. To become a sponsor of UOAQ, please contact Paul Cassels on 3220 0959

Why should i participate in the running of my body corporate? Do you have a question you would like Frances to ask? Email your questions to help@uoaq.org.au Subject : Attention Frances For most people buying a unit would be a significant investment. In light of this, I would suggest that it would be in their best interest to review the financials, take part in setting the proposed annual budgets and participate in everyday tasks to help the community. Every year the Body Corporate approves the expenditure/ statement of accounts for the previous year and proposes and accepts a budget for the Administration Fund, Sinking Fund and in some cases an Insurance Fund for the current financial year. These budgets then get divided amongst the buildings lot entitlements thus creating the levies required to be paid by each Owner. Legislation requires that a breakdown of each fund is provided to Owners with the Annual General Meeting Voting Papers. This is done so the Owners can review the funds and make an informed decision at the Annual General Meeting. The Administration Fund The Administration Fund is raised to finance the everyday expenses of the Body Corporate - Examples

• • •

Repair and maintenance to common property, engagement of contractors and, upkeep of assets and facilities.

The Sinking Fund The Sinking Fund is for capital or non-recurrent expenses- Examples • Painting of the building, • re-carpeting the common areas, • re-surfacing the tennis court. An easy way to reduce levies is by Unit Owners becoming more active within the Administration of the Body Corporate. By reading documentation or volunteering a small amount of your time you and life skills you could save the Body Corporate money. An example is offering to obtain quotations or even drafting correspondence on behalf of the Body Corporate. As a Body Corporate Manager I urge Owners to contact Managers or Committee Members at any time throughout the year if you don’t understand what you’re reading including if you’re having problems deciphering the budgets or financials. After all it does impact all Owners directly from their hip pockets.

CTS Management Suite 35, Level 6. “Northpoint” 231 North Quay Brisbane QLD 4000 Telephone 07 3211 4445 Fax 07 3211 4410 Mobile 0419 741 066 Email coralie.mott@ctsm.com.au www.ctsm.com.au

Coralie Mott

(BA Dip Ed, Cert IV in BCM)

Director and Body Corporate Manager

From the Editor

by Paul Cassels yourstratamanagement.com.au

Unit Owners Association QLD

Help for Members

Members of the UOAQ are welcome to contact committee members of the association for any help on any body corporate matter.

Disclaimer

Articles contributed to this newsletter are published as a service to members and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or policy of this Association. To contact the committee of the UOAQ for assistance with a body corporate matter please e-mail help@uoaq.org.au

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UnitNews Online July 2011

Dear readers. Over the last 9 months the committee of the UOAQ has been implementing the sustainable living policy as adopted by the members and past committee at the 2010 AGM.

The policy has created debate and clarity for the rights of unit owners. There are 4 serving members on the current committee that have been on the UOAQ committee for over 5 years. Eight new volunteers have been training and assisting members via phone and internet. Members have had face to face communications with the committee and office staff. If anyone would like to discuss any topic regarding the direction of the association please write to help@uoaq.org.au. The AGM will be held on the 24 September 2011.

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UOAQ supporting sustainable buildings

Turning a Community Title Scheme into a Community As apartment owners we are all governed by a law called the Body Corporate and Community Management Act (BCCM). The BCCM Act prescribes all the framework necessary to set ourselves up legally, deal with the process of living in a community and resolve disputes. Or as the Act itself says; ‘... primary object of this Act is to provide for flexible and contemporary communally based arrangements for the use of freehold land...’ Interesting that the word ‘Community’ keeps appearing. However, in our apartment and town house developments it is our joint use of property that is the aspect of community that seems to be the primary, and often only, focus. There are lots of other benefits in focusing on the other aspects of ‘community’. Community is most generally regarded as a broad term for fellowship or organized society. But often our buildings are designed and organised to maximise individual privacy. Unfortunately this also means it is often hard to get to know our neighbours. By way of example, my wife and I had lived in our building for 6 months and met almost no one till one Saturday morning the roller gate to the residents carpark broke down and no one could get out. We met lots of people then with everyone standing around with a common cause complaining about the gate! So is there a way to create a community in your strata title property (and I don’t seriously suggest you sabotage the gate)- and are there good reasons to do so. Perhaps I could start with a few basic reasons why we should make an effort:

Property value: This is always enhanced when the place looks cared for. A community creates a sense of pride and ownership. Sure it won’t eliminate occasional vandalism or litter - but it does have an impact. Disputes: If you know someone it is often easier to raise an issue that is a problem with them directly and seek a way to resolve it rather than either suffering and whinging or resorting to the BCCM dispute processes. Friendship: You meet people with different careers, travel experiences and lifestyles that you would not otherwise get to meet in the course of our hectic modern lives. Volunteering: Often costs can be reduced or the place enhanced by people assisting with some of the more pleasant tasks. During the recent dry spell and water restrictions we had people who saved their shower water or carted buckets to keep our lovely grounds in reasonable condition. Crisis management: We have all seen the sense of community generated following the recent floods. Our building had its basement carpark inundated. When we started the cleanup we were overwhelmed by the volunteers from our building community. Those who could hold a hose or wield a shovel did so and those who couldn’t supplied food and drink for the other workers.

Now for the how: • Focus: make it a task for the committee members (even an agenda item at meetings) and for the building manager to promote community events and connection. • Survey: Use either a questionnaire or a suggestion box to ask residents how things are going and do they want a focus on certain areas for maintenance and upgrade. • Information: Keep people posted on what’s happening - e.g. major maintenance, breakdowns etc using both newsletters and community notices - lifts or entry areas are a good place for immediate issues and notice boards for longer term items. • Events: Stage a BBQ or an event (e.g. boules on the lawn, Christmas in July) and invite everyone. • Common Areas: look at ways that common areas can be made available for community members to access and meet .e.g. table and chairs under a tree, open a common room area, start a paperback library. In our building we refer to the ‘Village of Stradbroke Tower and Villas’. Perhaps a bit corny but with 108 homes it is bigger than many rural villages in the country. We certainly believe we have seen real benefits from our promotion of our Straddie community. Tony Drake, Chair Body Corporate Committee, Stradbroke Tower and Villas.

BRISBANE - GOLD COAST - REDCLIFFE Continued from Last Issue Working with owners to create happy, healthy and harmonious communities.

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Feature Story that add to the cost of unit living. This examination is essential if high density unit living is to remain as a viable option to urban sprawl with the associated ever increasing infrastructure costs to government. The UOAQ has already engaged with State and Local Government on development overheads and unjustifiable rates charges. This short paper is designed to inform members of the future direction of the UOAQ sustainable living policy.

UOAQ requires change for Unit Owners

Building Design and Unit Living costs The general public have a justifiable expectation that when they buy into a unit complex the building or buildings will be well designed to meet environmental and daily living requirements. Poorly designed unit complexes will have ongoing operational and maintenance costs that the body corporate (unit owners) will be required to fund by way of administrative fund and sinking fund contributions, or perhaps special levies. Furthermore, the expectation is that the buildings will be well constructed, meeting all the Building Code Australia and Australian Standards. Generally speaking this last expectation is achieved by local councils and independent inspections during construction. Unfortunately there are some contractors who continue to cut corners resulting in buildings that leak, or have

substandard material such as fire plumbing also small items such as fixtures, fasteners and fitting used. Bottom of the range fire doors and black iron door frames can cost the body corporate hundreds of thousands of dollars in the first ten years of building life. Likewise poorly applied or low cost roof membranes will cost the body corporate one hundred thousand dollars or more to repair or replace. Thus all purchasers of units, even in newly constructed complexes, are well advised to have qualified independent building inspections and reports before signing any contract to buy a unit. Returning to the first point of design and environmental expectations, the Unit Owners Association of Queensland (UOAQ) is currently investigating all the factors

The Building Codes Council (BCC) and the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) have to their credit already issued amendments to the Building Code Australia (BCA) requiring higher energy efficiency in unit building design, and the use of higher efficiency air conditioning. Unfortunately, some developments with buildings facing East, South East and West are being constructed with minimal solar protection. Air conditioning calculations are based on assumptions of heavy solar insulating curtains that are not included in the building furnishings by the developer. This increases energy costs for cooling and heating because the heavy curtains may not be installed by the new owner (because of cost) causing the air conditioner to work on full load. This is energy inefficient, increasing energy use and cost. The same scenario exists when thermal insulation is marginal, especially flat roof or ceiling insulation. Buildings with flat black roofs can increase the roof slab temperature by up to 10 degrees Celsius compared to a white roof membrane. This places higher heat loads on top floor air conditioning thus increasing cost. Another energy consuming design factor is water buffer (accumulator) reservoirs being placed in basements or sub-basements (even when the supply reservoir head is well above building top floor level). This reduces structural cost, but leaves owners with the cost of pumping every drop of water up to every unit. Also

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Feature Story leaving the building without water in the event of power failure. This is energy inefficient increasing electricity costs to the body corporate. Gas fired hot water systems are placed on roofs to avoid venting costs that would be required if the boilers were located in closed rooms. Thus after paying for the cold water to be pumped up to the roof, the body corporate must pay to pump the hot water down to every unit in the building. Hot water pumping and circulating costs could be offset by the use of solar hot water systems being installed by the developer. More expensive for the developer, but energy saving for the unit owners. All below ground level garage parking areas must be built with adequate forced ventilation to prevent the accumulation of carbon monoxide and other emissions from vehicles. Developers install cross flow ventilation systems that are then left for the new body corporate to run 24/7 to comply with the ventilation standards. This is energy consuming and extremely expensive for the body corporate by way of electricity charges. However, the running cost of the garage ventilation system can be reduced by about 90% (depending on traffic volume) if the developer installed carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide fume detectors in the garage to turn the venting system on – only when needed. Many new building have the garden watering systems connected to mains rather than bores, tanks or recycled water. This is less expensive for the developer, but increasingly expensive for the body corporate. The majority of hi-rise buildings are not provided with car washing facilities, albeit that on average there are two cars per unit. In average size buildings with 100 units, that is 200 cars. Larger buildings obviously have up to 300 to 400 cars. In total the number of cars housed in hi-rise unit buildings probably exceeds 200,000. In many buildings, cars are washed in car parks with the water discharged into the storm water system causing pollution and 100% loss of the water used. This of course is the cheapest

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solution for the developers. This waste of water, and the associated cost, could be avoided if every unit building was constructed with a dedicated car wash facility with the water discharged into a recycle plant similar to that used at public car wash facilities. This would save water, the cost of water and the environment. Buildings with recycling car wash facilities could be granted a waste water discharge discount, thus offsetting the cost of running the water recycling plant. Other building design features that have recently been in the news is electricity and pump rooms being placed in basements below 100 year return flood levels. Less expensive for the developer at construction, but more expensive for the body corporate in flood events. Elevating these essential facilities above flood level will save replacement cost after a flood event, and potentially insurance cost. One last false economy is the lack of industrial garbage bin collection locations. The bins are placed in the street causing visual pollution and a potential safety hazard with risk of insurance claims and higher insurance premiums. The members of the UOAQ, with cumulative thousands of years of unit living experience have identified the above energy wasting and cost increasing features of building design. Every unit owner knows that at least some of the items listed exist in their building and are costing every unit owner thousands of dollars over the life of the building. Obviously introducing the necessary changes to the BCA and local government legislation is beyond the UOAQ, unless the numbers of unit owners asking for change are sufficient to attract Federal and State Government attention and the potential for votes at the next election, then we may just get change.

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Tougher Asbestos Laws coming in 2012 As Asbestos laws are continuing to be tightened, councils and other local authorities are also really starting to take Asbestos seriously by enforcing dump laws and not allowing buildings to be relocated until they have an adequate clearance certificate. Tradesmen are very much aware of the dangers of Asbestos, and will not hesitate to ‘down tools’ until an accredited Auditor has been onto the site and given the all clear or identified what asbestos is on site.

buildings before 1990. The sheeting was used for cladding and roofs, and can often be found as backing boards in wet areas like the kitchen, bathroom and laundry.

There are some new changes that are coming and the final legislation will be completed in September 2011 for the January 2012 release. Some of the changes will be in the assessing of Asbestos, who can and can’t do what with regards to Asbestos and some major changes regarding the removal of any Asbestos.

The new harmonised WHS laws will mean that those engaged in work to remove 10m2 or more of bonded Asbestos containing material will need to hold a qualification in the relevant unit of competency which is currently being developed as part of a national standardisation. The relevant competency can be attained by undergoing training and assessment with a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). Application requirements will be detailed on the Department’s website after the harmonised WHS laws and internal procedures are finalised (expected during the latter half of 2011).

What To Do Before Removing Asbestos It is important that you implement a Register and Management Plan before conducting any Asbestos removal. It is also recommended that any Asbestos removal be carried out by a removalist who is registered with the Asbestos Industry Association (AIA) as they are thoroughly vetted, have insurance, appropriate licenses and you will be sure that the removalist has no black marks or infringement notices against them.

Asbestos Removal Licenses Any tradesperson or other worker who is required to remove significant amounts of bonded Asbestos material needs to know how to do it safely. Although a certificate is not required to remove less than 10 square metres of bonded Asbestos material, all Asbestos removal work must be carried out in accordance with the national Asbestos removal code of practice. It’s the law. There are currently two types of removal classes “A” and “B”

Removal Licensing Under new harmonised WHS laws which will come into play from January 2012, licences relating to the removal of bonded Asbestos containing material will be issued to businesses and not individuals.

• •

Queensland, along with other Australian states have agreed to implement harmonised workplace health and safety laws (harmonised WHS Laws) from 1 January 2012. A transition period from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2012 is proposed for the changeover from an individual to a business licence. The current regulation which requires individual workers to hold licences will continue to apply, however the regulation has been amended so that current licence holders are not required to renew their licence form 13 May 2011 until 31 December 2012. Currently, workers involved with removing 10 square metres or more of bonded Asbestos (equal to about four standard sheets of plasterboard), must hold a B-Class certificate (or bonded Asbestos removal certificate). Bonded Asbestos materials include Asbestos cement sheeting, often called fibro, used in many Queensland

A class Asbestos removal licenses allow the operator to removal all types of Asbestos – both friable and bonded. QBM holds this class of license as we are continually requested to oversee and manage removal jobs to ensure contractors carry out the removal to the letter of the law and the site is clean and Asbestos free before we will sign off and pay for the work. B class Asbestos removal licenses allow the operator to remove only bonded Asbestos such as: wall, ceiling and roof sheeting. They are not licensed to remove any friable Asbestos.

Asbestos is a deadly material. You can protect the health of those in and around your site by having the site assessed and cleared by an accredited and qualified Asbestos Auditor.

Quality Building Management P 1300 880 466

50 Free Financial Performance Evaluations of a Body Corporate

the financial performance of individual body corporates compared to other buildings’ data. This is contained in a confidential report which is supplied back to the person who provides the financial data of their body corporate sourced from the audited financial statements contained in the notice of AGM issued to all owners.

When owners receive their annual financial statements, one of the issues often raised by owners is ‘but how does my building’s financial performance compare to other buildings?

If you are interested in receiving a confidential report detailing the individual financial performance of your building, please contact the UOAQ at help@uoaq.org.au in order that this can be made available. In order to encourage this service, the first 50 reports issued will be provided free of cost, to the member or body corporate provided they are financial members of UOAQ.

The UOAQ has access to financial data for buildings and has established a confidential data base from which it is able to analyse

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UnitNews Online July 2011

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Quick News

The Future of Management Rights Continued from Page 1 • The Queensland Government is contemplating even more changes. This raises a number of questions. Will more changes resolve the problems? Has the time arrived to abolish management rights in Queensland? Should they be totally abolished or should they be restricted to genuine applications? How can they be abolished without interfering with existing rights and obligations? We must avoid an emotive response when attempting to answer these questions. The facts are these:

Hartley’s Body Corporate Management

1. Many (probably most) management rights schemes created in recent years are totally inappropriate for the projects in which they subsist. 2. There are projects that require management rights in order for them to operate in the way they were intended (e.g. strata title hotels, branded residences attached to hotels and some timeshare projects). 3. There are circumstances where long term contracts may be beneficial to bodies corporate (e.g. lift maintenance, painting programs, capital recoupment schemes for hot water or telecommunication services) and these circumstances are likely to increase with current environmental challenges. Therefore, any restrictions on management rights need to be carefully targeted. 4. There are management rights schemes that operate to the general satisfaction of all stakeholders and those stakeholders would not like them to be adversely impacted. 5. There are still problems in some management rights schemes that need to be addressed in the interests of all concerned. 6. There are options to management rights schemes (e.g. body corporate employees, off-site specialists) and legislative promotion of these options may be warranted. That may include use of town planning laws to incentivise developers to provide on-site management facilities as part of common property. 7. Existing building managers (and their financiers) have a substantial investment in their management rights and they are entitled to have that investment protected.

‘Looking after all your Body Corporate Needs’

Government needs guidance on how to answer these questions. All stakeholders need to be involved in that guidance process. However, everyone needs to take a balanced and non-emotive approach to that process. The complexity of this question of management rights and other long term contracts is clearly captured in an excellent paper on Griffith University’s web site, accessible at www.strata-and-community-title-2011.ning.com. Running parallel with that paper is a “blog” on this whole question of long term contracts and management rights. The objective of the blog is to seek the views of the widest possible cross-section of stakeholders. Take the time to read the paper and contribute to the blog. In this way you can do your bit to ensure that any further response by Government is more effective than past efforts. If you are not a “blogger”, this is your big opportunity to get started.

3379 7455

Gary Bugden OAM DUniv has been involved in strata titles for the past 40 years as a specialist lawyer, director of development and investment companies, strata manager, author, commentator and law reformer in Australia and overseas (and as a unit owner).

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■ Financial Management ■ Agendas & Meetings ■ Administration of your Scheme ■ Maintenance ■ Dispute Resolution ■ Compliance

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Management Rights | Levy Collection | Dispute Resolution Community Management Statements | Review of By-laws Establishment of Schemes | Construction Defects Lot Entitlement Disputes | Exclusive Use

Body Corporate Managers – Significance of their Role? Coralie Mott

BODY CORPORATE MATTERS? ENGAGE THE BODY CORPORATE LAWYERS

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Proactive Body Corporate Management As you’d be aware, the body corporate and the committee are responsible for the maintenance of common property. The common property starts with the physical structure (the buildings) and infrastructure (paintwork, carpeting, tiling etc) and extends to all its assets – including the pool pumps and heaters, gardening equipment, lifts and so on. At one of the bodies corporate we recently became managers for, the committee were faced with the need to repaint the building several years before the sinking fund forecast allowed for the expenditure. Also due to a roll-over clause in the lift maintenance contract that the committee where unaware of, the contract was ‘renewed’ without alternative quotes being sought. There were several reasons for the painting issue: the sinking fund forecast was over six years old, so was out-of-date. The committee had never been asked by the building manager to consider a wash-down to extend the life of the paint and no painting maintenance had been carried out since the last time the building was painted. As community managers we consider it one of our major duties of care to bring to the attention of the committee (or if it prefers, the annual general meeting) the status of the sinking fund forecast. At the same time we raise during budget committee discussions the major expenditure items that can be anticipated in future years. As a standard agenda item at each meeting we provide the asset register and the contracts register for the committee to review. In addition, we have developed a detailed report format that aims to identify all major items of common property. It lists critical details namely, the supplier and supply date, the warranty expiry, the service contractor, the last service date and any other important details. Our community managers work closely together with the building manager to ensure that the committee is provided regularly with check-lists including all the relevant details of the ‘moving parts’ of their buildings to ensure that the necessary specialised service is being provided. For more information about how SSKB can implement a similar system to help your body corporate, contact Peter Cassels at pcassels@sskb.com.au or call 07 5504 2000.

E pcassels@sskb.com.au P 07 5504 2000

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UnitNews Online July 2011

Unit Owners should be aware that Body Corporate Managers (BCMs) are appointed by the Body Corporate to carry out certain functions, as specified in their Administration Agreement. Such appointments should occur at a General Meeting of the Unit Owners, i.e. the Body Corporate. So, are BCMs really necessary? When you consider what is involved with the BCMs responsibilities most Unit Owners agree that ‘good’ BCMs are invaluable and play a very significant role with the successful management of a body corporate. We are often asked “what exactly does a BCM do”? Broadly speaking we provide the following services:- Administrative functions - issuing meeting notices, minutes, correspondences etc; - Financial functions – issuing contribution notices (levies), receipting payments of these, attending to the daily banking, preparation of financial statements etc; - Providing support and guidance in terms of the legislative requirements relating to a body corporate such as the Body Corporate & Community Management Act 1997, Workplace Health & Safety Act 1995, Fire & Rescue Service Act 1990 and the associated Regulation 2008, Information Privacy Act 2009 and the Electronic Transactions (Qld) Act 2001, to name a few. It takes years of training and experience for a person to become an effective BCM in order to be proficient with all ‘of the above’. At the very minimum a BCM should have a Certificate IV in Body Corporate Management. Unfortunately at this stage there is no diploma or degree course being offered in body corporate management however there are several universities working towards this goal. A ‘good’ BCM can assist with minimizing disputes within a body corporate, providing guidance with the financial and administrative management for the body corporate and generally lessen the workload burden that voluntary Committee Members are faced with on a daily basis.

CTS Management PTY LTD P 07 3211 4445

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HARBIN ICE & SNOW FESTIVAL 2012

The Ultimate Touring Experience The Harbin Ice and Snow Festival in Northern China is a totally unique artistic and cultural event. The festival attracts a million visitors over six months and is recognised as the worlds most outstanding of its kind. Holiday specialists Travel Masters, have for the past three years organised in January, a very special Small Group Package which gives visitors to this event an outstanding ‘life experience’. In 2012 Travel Masters are again offering a limited number of travellers the opportunity to enjoy this cultural event. Harbin will surprise you. The historic influence of foreign cultures (especially Russian) can best be found in the oldest and most interesting part of town. In the 1930’s, 16 countries maintained consulates in Harbin making the city one of the most cosmopolitan in all of China during that period. In winter, boats are locked in frozen ice and the local river hosts ice skating, husky sleigh rides, horse drawn carriages on sled runners and ice fishing. Slippery slides are made entirely from ice, and there is even a swimming pool made for locals that is cut into the river ice! It is visually unforgettable, photographically magnificent, and culturally unique. There is nothing else on earth like the amazing Ice and Snow Festival! A whole city of half size reproductions of world icons, famous palaces, and huge sculptures, built from massive ice blocks and highlighted at night by incredible fluorescent lighting. Sun Island is home to huge and intricate snow sculptures created by international teams of competitors. The quality and creativity of the work leaves you totally enthralled.

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Access to the island is by cable car high above the frozen river, with wonderful views of the waterfront, frozen river activity, and the city. Travel Masters organise a private demonstration of ice carving to observe first hand the skills involved. Harbin also celebrates its Winter Festival with a wonderful array of night lights that transform the city and make it blaze with colour. The best competitive exhibition of ice sculptures, carved with incredible skill, is in a world famous local park. The endangered Siberian Tiger is the ancestor of all tiger species. Siberian Tiger Park is unique and just outside Harbin, where the tigers are bred and protected. Travel Masters organise to see them up close from the safety of a safari vehicle. Prior to WW2, the Japanese Army operated top secret germ warfare experimental bases around the world, but the most notorious of these operated close to Harbin. Travel Masters make a visit to the original buildings which today portray the graphic historical story. Do something totally different and unique! The Travel Masters 7 day / 6 night holiday package departs 15th January and is inclusive of flights ex Brisbane, all sightseeing, deluxe accommodation, all meals, tipping etc, for just $3350pp. For the exclusive detailed brochure on this popular escorted tour, contact one of Travel Masters senior consultants on 1800 672 988. The 2012 departure has been extended to include one night in Guangzhou prior to flying on to Harbin the next morning where you’ll spend the next 5 nights. January (mid winter) in Harbin can be very cold, but this unique holiday package is designed carefully to make sure everyone has spectacular memories that never fade away. Call for the brochure today!

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YOUR CHECKL IST Sinking Fund Fo recast Safety Risk Asse ssments Insurance Valua tions Balustrade and Balcony Reports Fire Seperations Reports Asbestos Report s Asbestos Mana gement Docum ents Building Conditio n Assessments BMS Shared Se rvices Report Consultancy and Tailored Report ing Builders Warra nty Inspection

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1300 880 466 inspections@qbm.com.au www.qbm.com.au uoaq.org.au

July 2011 UnitNews Online

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UnitNews Online July 2011

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Unit News Online - UOAQ JULY  

The official newsletter of Unit Owners Association Queensland

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