Industry Gears Up For Another Attack

Date Added: 01/06/2012 by John Mahoney - Mahoney Lawyers

About 2 years ago, in an article I wrote as a tribute to outgoing executive members of the Australian Accommodation Managers Association Inc (ARAMA), I made the following comment:-

“As a very experienced Body Corporate and management rights industry identity commented to me a few years ago, every five or six years our industry comes under attack.  We deal with it and ensure that the balance is maintained only to find that five or so years later on there is a new minister and a new bunch of bureaucrats, not involved previously, who are hounded by extreme interest groups to curtail management rights.  We then go through the same arguments and debates that we did five or so years before and generally demonstrate that, contrary to the assertions of our opponents, there is a fair and reasonable balancing of interest in the legislation so that dramatic changes are not needed.”

It seems that the “five or six years” is up as the State Government is releasing a discussion paper aimed at yet another review of our industry. It is the result of constant hounding by extreme interest groups claiming to represent unit owners in Queensland when in fact they represent a miniscule percentage of owners, some of whom can not even get elected to the committees of their own buildings!

Once again the industry must fight against the outrageous demands of this fringe element. It is a fight that should not be taken lightly as our opponents are extremely vocal and lobby extensively politicians on both sides. They present arguments that at first glance seem persuasive and coherent but when more closely examined are fanciful, lacking in evidence and credibility.

In previous reviews of management rights legislation, representatives from the body corporate management, tourism, management rights, property development and real estate industries have taken part in the review and the debates. Each time the resultant legislation or changes came about after the arguments and submissions of all interested groups were scrutinised and balanced.

Whilst each time the extreme views of our opponents were rejected, that should not lead us to complacency this time. It will be more important than ever for the management rights industry to go on the attack in order to protect the rights and investments of resident managers. We should not underestimate the extent to which they will go to achieve their goal of destroying management rights as we know it.

Fortunately our industry is well represented by ARAMA which enjoys a high degree of credibility with the State Government. As I have written before, that credibility has not come about overnight.  It has been achieved over many years of well planned and well presented submissions to various Government departments and ministers.  ARAMA has demonstrated a solid understanding of the issues and a willingness to negotiate a fair and  balanced outcome. 

ARAMA will once again play a critical role in this latest review and I urge all resident managers to get behind ARAMA to ensure that we can achieve the best possible outcome. If you are not already a member of ARAMA, I would encourage you to join your local branch of ARAMA. Doing so will provide ARAMA with additional monetary and moral support to take up the fight against our opponents and achieve what I expect will be, once again, an appropriate outcome.


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