The Committee Secretary:
The following information is provided by Consumer Affairs Victoria.
Your owners corporation must have a secretary under the Owners Corporations Act 2006, which also introduces new duties for this important role. The secretary is responsible for tasks such as managing correspondence and organising meetings.
Who can be a secretary?
Your owners corporation must elect either a lot owner or a lot owner’s proxy as committee secretary. This person is also the secretary of the owners corporation. If there is no committee, a lot owner must be the secretary of the owners corporation. The person who is the secretary can also be the chairperson.
If your owners corporation has a manager, then the manager can assist the secretary. However, the owners corporation should clarify who can assist the secretary at the annual general meeting and record that decision in the minutes. A decision or authorisation by the owners corporation, which is recorded in the minutes, will reduce the workload for the secretary.
The secretary’s role
The title of secretary identifies the person who is responsible for statutory duties and obligations under the Owners Corporations Act 2006.
- organises meetings and acts on the owners corporation or committee’s instructions
- is responsible for sending notices, minutes and other correspondence within deadlines (failing to meet deadlines could mean important decisions are open to challenge), and
- does not have any decision making powers unless delegated by the owners corporation or committee. Delegated powers must be set out in an ‘instrument of delegation’ and recorded in the minutes.
Skills needed to be secretary
The role of secretary requires detailed knowledge of the Owners Corporations Act 2006 and the Owners Corporations Regulations 2007.
The job requires:
- strong organisational and administrative skills
- good interpersonal skills, and
- sound writing skills (for tasks such as taking minutes and correspondence).
What if the secretary is not available?
If the secretary is absent, or there is no secretary, the chairperson or the manager can carry out the secretary’s duties and functions as prescribed by the Owners Corporations Act 2006.
Removing a secretary
The secretary can only be removed at the annual general meeting or a special general meeting. For more details, see Consumer Affairs Victoria’s fact sheets about Annual General Meetings and Committees.
Relevant forms and pro forma documents
The following forms and proforma documents can be downloaded from the Consumer Affairs Victoria website and are also available in printed copies of the fact sheets. Approved and prescribed forms must be used for particular processes undertaken by or in an owners corporation and their text cannot be changed. Proforma documents are provided for information and assistance, do not have to be used by your owners corporation, and you are free to amend them to make them more useful for your owners corporation.
Instrument of delegation
Relevant legislation and documents
Copies of the following documents can help to ensure your owners corporation runs smoothly:
- Owners Corporations Act 2006
- Owners Corporations Regulations 2007
- Subdivision Act 1988
- Subdivision (Procedures) Regulations 2000
- Rules of the owners corporation
- Plan of Subdivision.
Hard copies of the legislation can be purchased from Information Victoria: 505 Little Collins Street, Melbourne 3000, 1300 366 356, www.information.vic.gov.au
Online copies of the legislation can be downloaded from: www.legislation.vic.gov.au (Victorian Law Today).
Copies of a plan of subdivision and an owners corporation’s rules can be obtained from Land Victoria: 570 Bourke Street, Melbourne 3000, 03 8636 2010, www.land.vic.gov.au
Further reading from Consumer Affairs Victoria
Owning, managing and living in a unit or apartment: Guide to owners corporations
- Activating your owners corporation
- Annual general meetings
- Dealing with grievances
- Financial management
- Maintenance & maintenance plans
- Meeting procedures
- Multiple owners corporations
- Owners corporation register
- Owners corporation certificate
- Prescribed owners corporations
- Purchasing an apartment checklist
- Two-lot subdivisions
- Voting and ballot guidelines
Ring Consumer Affairs Victoria on 1300 55 81 81 or download the publications from www.consumer.vic.qov.au/ownerscorp.
Victorian Consumer & Business Centre
113 Exhibition Street
Telephone: 1300 55 81 81
Because this publication avoids the use of legal language, information about the law may have been summarised or expressed in general statements, This information should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional legal advice or reference to the actual legislation.
Authorised by the Victorian Government 121 Exhibition Street Melbourne Victoria 3000.