Plans to introduce Skype, video and teleconferencing into strata meetings could make the process “more complex and cumbersome”, says a strata director.
Margaret O’Connor, who is the director and licensee-in-charge at O’Connors Strata, said she is concerned the new proposals will have a negative impact on how strata meetings are conducted.
Her comment comes after the NSW government said technology could reduce barriers to meeting participation, particularly for investors or owners who can’t attend because of time or location.
The proposed reforms give associations and members of an owners corporation alternative means of attending meetings like Skype, video and teleconferencing.
Electronic votes could be accepted, and documents could be stored and distributed electronically.
Ms O’Connor said the last thing strata management needs is more complexity and cumbersome processes.
“I have concerns about the logistics of using technology if, for example, you have 40 individuals needing to dial into a meeting,” she said.
“Ensuring they have the right equipment and can maintain a good internet connection for the whole meeting would be difficult. I’m not sure it is feasible or going to benefit owners.”
Ms O’Connor said one solution may be to have a strata-specific platform or service provider, but the expense might make it prohibitive for some schemes.
“There are many times when discussions in strata meetings can be quite emotionally-charged, or in-depth, and not just a matter of deciding ‘yes or no’,” she said.
“We need to look at how we can make technology work for and with the needs of strata meetings, not simply have the technology and hope to make strata fit.”