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23 May to Min. Bleijie - Misclassification


You can view the original letter here

Mr. Jarrod Bleijie
Attorney General
GPO Box 149
Brisbane QLD 4001

Dear Jarrod,

Re: Misclassification of Standard or Accommodation Modules April 2014

Thank you for your email dated 13 May 2014 in response to mine of April 9.

Subsequent to sending my email I received a copy of a study produced by Griffith University titled: “Residents Experiences in Condominiums: A Case Study of Australian Apartment Living”, which on receipt, I directed to your good self and referred to it as supporting the argument that I had made in my email. In your response you made no reference to this case study, and I can only assume that it was not received. As this document is of significant importance to the issues being represented, I direct it to you a second time.

Of particular importance are pages 5 & 6 which detail the conflict to participants by the misclassifications and lack of clarity of building use, and pages 8 to 10 detailing confusion, and misrepresentation in the unit purchasing process. These issues, coupled with the Government’s failure to clarify and enforce Australian Building Codes have contributed to the continuing misuse of Class 2 buildings for short term rental. The example of the V77 development, described by the developer as residential, yet classified Accommodation Module, as history demonstrates, will lead to unwanted short term rentals at that development. You suggest that the Accommodation Module “clearly states” that for it to apply, lots in the scheme must be predominately accommodation lots. If a development is described as residential by the developer and can be classified Accommodation Module by that same developer, the clarity you suggest is not evident. As developers are clearly confused, that clarity must be provided as part of the current review to stop these deliberate misclassifications to enhance the developer’s reward at the ongoing cost to owners through inflated levies for at least 25 years.

The final paragraph to your letter advises that any prospective purchaser “do their due diligence and seek appropriate professional advice”. I am sure all prospective purchasers do follow your advice, for it is incomprehensible to consider making such purchases without legal support. But why are there so many stories and complaints of the likes referred to in the study on pages 8 to 10, if your advice is the answer to solving these problems. Could it be a failing of the law to provide adequate consumer protection as guaranteed by Section 4 (g) of the Body Corporate and Community Management Act, and what is being addressed in the current review to remedy these research based failings?

I appreciate your referral to the Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, in recording community management statements for new schemes to ensure the appropriate regulation module under the BCCM Act is applied to a scheme. However, this matter being of such importance to intending buyers of lots, it is only reasonable to expect that greater clarity be provided in the BCCM Act to insure the fullest transparency, disclosure and protection to those buyers. The current review provides this opportunity.

Kindest regards,

Wayne Stevens

cc. ··· Hon. Andrew Cripps MP, Minister for Natural Resources and Mines.
········ Hon. John-Paul Langbroek Member for Surfers Paradise