Sticks For Beating Wrongdoers

The stick for abusing power must be personal liability, a fine or imprisonment.

These are the corporate regulators’ sticks. Our courts deal out the beatings and our media makes a grand job of naming and shaming those that take them for failing to meet our increasingly high standards of corporate responsibility. By comparison the statutory sanctions for breaching strata management laws are like being savaged with a limp lettuce leaf.

Indeed a general immunity exists in most strata titled jurisdictions for anything done (or not done) by a committee member in good faith and without negligence. What that means legally in the context of an owners corporation is not yet clear or not tested by a court of high authority but the message it conveys is this– ‘near enough is good enough. Try your best but don’t bother too much if compliance with these laws is too hard for you are but the humble servants of your community doing a hard job for free’.

Carrots and sticks have been fine weapons for all eternity in the war between good and evil and more of these by legislators in the domain of strata communities would go a long way to encouraging true responsibility of members. In the absence of these powers that grant freedom to our strata leaders, it is difficult to foster responsibility, but if we are to have harmonious strata bodies, then despite these legislative handbrakes strata community leaders need to emerge and work within the boundaries that have been created.

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