COVID-19: Update from SCA

To reduce the spread of coronavirus, or COVID-19, the Strata Community Association joined the Australian College of Strata Lawyers in calling for government intervention in all states to ensure that strata communities will not be penalised if they opt to delay the convening of a meeting or fail to hold a meeting strictly in accordance with the legal requirements.   

Australian College of Strata Lawyers spokesperson Amanda Farmer said: “Permitting owners to vote via a proxy would remove the need for owners to attend a meeting in person to have their vote considered, but in New South Wales there is a limit to the number of proxies that may be held by one person. People will still need to meet in person to make decisions for their community unless they have opted-in for electronic voting.”   

Ms Farmer said the current situation is fast-changing.  

“The College urges owners and strata managers to consult a strata lawyer qualified to practice in their state and seek legal advice specific to their building,” she said. 

SCA National CEO Alisha Fisher said: “SCA supports the Australian College of Strata Lawyers’ call to Government intervention in all states on legislation flexibility for how meetings can be convened during this time.” 

In March, the World Health Organisation (WHO) officially declared the global coronavirus crisis a pandemic. WHO defines pandemic as “an outbreak of a new pathogen that spreads easily from person to person across the globe.”

The Australian Government said Australia does not have widespread community transmission of COVID-19, with many cases acquired overseas.

However, with more people living in strata properties and sharing close quarters and common property with neighbours, SCA has advised people to check their state or territory government website for health warnings about COVID-19.  

In Australia, the people most at risk of getting the virus are those who have: 

Recently been in mainland China, Iran, Republic of Korea or Italy;  Been in close contact with someone who is a confirmed case of coronavirus. 

To ensure strata managers and their staff, along with owners, occupants and members of the public are informed and can reduce the risk of infection with the coronavirus, the Federal Government is providing regular advice.

Resources, including posters, can be downloaded from the Department of Health’s website. Visit: health., then click Resources, then Collections, then Novel Coronavirus Resources.

This virus can cause an infection in people, including a severe respiratory illness. Symptoms include runny nose, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath.  

Call the Department of Health and Human Service’s dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398 if you develop these symptoms. This hotline is serviced by a Nurse-on-Call. Please only call Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.  Anyone who has travelled to Hubei Province, including Wuhan City, Iran, Republic of Korea or Italy or is a close contact of a confirmed case is asked to: 

Self-isolate at home and avoid public settings for 14 days after leaving; 

Seek medical assistance if you become unwell during this time.

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