Life at Loralea – Residents Newsletter No.3
Since I last wrote we are well into a new year and coping with the ‘new normal’ of living with Covid-19. We have also had the promised Extraordinary General Meeting, EGM, which was rowdy but passed all the agenda motions after some heated debate. Many attending felt they had been given misinformation prior to the EGM and were pleased to get the facts at the meeting. Others have asked for help to learn about meetings, the budget and BuildingLink.
With regard to meeting procedure, a word of caution about searching the internet or finding books on the subject. Be careful that you find information relating to Strata meetings in NSW and that what you read is no older than 2017 which was the last Strata Law review.
At Ku-Ring-Gai library, branches at Gordon or Lindfield, look for REF 346.944 STRA or on the ordinary loan shelves use the same call number with the title: Strata Living: get involved. / NSW Government, Fair Trading. Revised Jan 2017. 44 pages. You can find a lot of internet information just be sure it relates to Strata and NSW and is recently dated. A safe site is- www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au
There is an easy reading section under Housing and Property dated 23/7/20 “ How to run meetings of the strata committee” or find your own answers to your questions perhaps in the ‘Frequently asked Questions’ section.
A word about proxies before leaving meeting procedures. I was shocked to see how many proxies this time had been made out by the person receiving the proxy with the person giving the proxy only signing the form and how many of these proxies had given away the owner’s vote for 24 months of meetings. It is best to give a proxy for only one meeting – if you can’t attend the next meeting you have the ability to give another proxy. Any time you give your proxy it should be done knowing what the meeting agenda is and how you want your proxy to vote on a motion on your behalf – which they should be told how to do for you. How can you know how you will feel about the future agenda motions at meetings during the next 2 years!
Remember you can take back your right to attend a meeting, debate a motion and vote at any time by simply being at and having your name recorded as present at the meeting. You can also cancel/take back your proxy by telling the Strata Manager by phone, email or letter – Ph 9902 7100 or Lee.Stroud@bright-duggan.com.au
One of the motions was about the Budget. The budget has a finite actual total and in strata it is divided into an Administrative Fund and a Capital Works Fund. To vastly oversimplify –
The Admin Fund – covers all the money spent on items, maintenance and repairs that deal with the day to day running of Loralea Gardens from light globes to contracts for cleaners, building management etc. i.e. expected, annually recurring expenses.
The Capital Works Fund – covers unexpected expenses which are new to the budget such as window key locks on all windows legislated by the NSW Government or those projects such as repairs to the façade and roof that are necessary as one off, non-annual, expenses prior to painting the buildings which will also be a Capital Works expense.
The budget total comes from the levies we pay annually as owners where our levies are given on a ratio to the 2 Funds. As we are a large complex ours must be a line-item budget which means that both Funds, to the best of our ability, have expected items assigned an expected cost of that item for the year. As money is spent, the cost appears as an actual cost against the line item so that what was expected to be spent and the actual cost are side by side. This year, for example, the committee assigned an amount for boilers in the Admin Fund but could not know that several of them would fail at the same time. Owners had bound the committee not to spend over 10% on a line-item at the AGM, so, when we reached the maximum given to replace a boiler, we were unable to replace the extra 3 boilers that failed without an EGM which cost owners over $3,000 to hold or the equivalent cost of a boiler. When not constrained in this way, the committee can over-spend on an item where necessary and underspend where possible on another to keep within the budget total.
If you receive the notices that come from the Building Management or this Newsletter, then you are on BuildingLink. However, you may need to check your username or set up a password with the Building Manager and have a brief explanation about how to use it. Email the Building Manager, email@example.com to arrange a time to organise some help with BuildingLink. You can also use the resident portal by logging in at www.loraleagardens.com.au
Pool and Gym Facilities
After the EGM, steps were taken to lodge a Covid Plan and prepare to open the facilities on Saturday 27 February. Thanks go to the Ku-Ring-Gai Neighbourhood Centre for their kind donation of Viraclean Disinfectant (hospital grade) with Miraclean Bottle which is being used by the cleaners in the facilities. Please adhere to all the regulations related to the use of the pool and gym which are displayed on the doors to the facilities and remember to book in and out using the QR code for each area.
Flood Prevention Measures
In January a test was run on the new flood prevention system for the LG lower carparks. Using rainwater stored in the underground concrete tanks, the last drainage pit at the end of Block C carpark was filled with water to a level of just over 2 meters. Then the electric pumps were isolated, valves were opened and closed, the petrol pump and hoses primed with water and then run to clear the water. From start to finish it took a total of 20 minutes to pump out around 4,000 litres of water to the Killeaton Street drain. This was an excellent result and proves LG now has an effective alternate pump system for flooding.
The set up and running procedures have been documented and Security along with other interested parties – please not just the Committee – will be trained. The equipment will be tested quarterly which will keep the ‘flood prevention team’ up to speed on procedures.
Congratulations to Bright and Duggan
The Strata Community Association NSW, the peak industry body for strata managers, service providers and owners in the strata sector awarded Bright and Duggan their top honour at the 2020 Strata Community Awards: Strata Management Business of the Year. B&D has now been voted winner in the category of the large business award in 2015, 2016, 2018 and now 2020.
Having enjoyed a 36-year distinguished career in science, Dr Cathy Foley was announced as Australia’s Chief Scientist in January 2021 – however, did you know that she is a St Ives resident? She is also a former NSW Woman of the Year.
If you like to walk around St Ives, you are probably well aware of the various remnant forest areas scattered in the suburb. Some of our residents may have students at St Ives High School and may be interested to know that St Ives High School P&C has received a $14,456 NSW Environmental Trust Restoration and Rehabilitation grant to regenerate a remnant Sydney Turpentine and Ironbark forest near the school.
Secretary of the Strata Committee
Loralea Gardens Owners Corporation