On Tuesday 14 November 2023, I spoke against unfair provisions in the Body Corporate and Community Management and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023. While the Greens supported the Bill on the whole, we were opposed to new rules which would allow developers to kick residents out of their homes.
Under the old rules, if owners in a strata living arrangement wish to sell their apartment building to a developer, all of the owners needed agree to dissolve the body corporate. If some owners believed that a minority of residents were holding out unreasonably to prevent dissolution (i.e. in bad faith) they could apply for a court order to dissolve the body corp.
However, most of the time the reason an owner doesn't want to sell is because they do not want to be displaced from their community, are not capable of moving due to a disability or old age, or because the price offered will not allow them to buy comparable accommodation in the same locale.
Under Labor's new laws, developers only need the approval of 75% of owners to dissolve a body corporate. This means they will be be able to undercut up to 25% of residents and boot them from their homes against their will. These new rules are a shameless appeasement of Labor's mates in the property lobby.
You can read my speech below, or find the full transcript and video link in the official Queensland Parliament Record of Proceedings (Hansard).
This clause is pretty much directly written by the property developers, who are going to be able to exploit this rule to get access to low-cost housing right across Queensland. To say that that is not the case is extremely naive. I would not be surprised if the property developers had a hand in writing this section of this legislation. It is remarkable to see the Attorney-General stand up and try to defend a provision that will allow developers to push people out of their homes purely on an economic basis. Obviously the Labor Party are so deep in the pockets of the property developers that they are willing to defend this rule.
The Attorney-General cherrypicked one example of someone who wants to terminate their scheme on an economic basis. The current laws already provide a pathway for people to go to court for an order for this. This is exactly what the Attorney-General is arguing people should have to do to avoid getting kicked out of their homes. The starting point should be that people are not forced out of their homes. The onus should be on bodies corporate to get an order to the contrary. This bill is Labor shifting the dial at the starting point in favour of developers and against ordinary people who just want to stay in their homes.
Surely the right of people to stay in their home is more important than the right of someone else to sell off that property so they can put in a new high-rise. The Attorney-General does not seem to know the difference between landlords and developers. She said that the Greens are only in favour of renters at the expense of landlords when we are looking at one of the worst rental crises.
Madam Deputy Speaker, I rise to a point of order. Firstly, the member is being misleading. I did not say any of that in my speech. Secondly, I take personal offence to her comments and I ask that she withdraw.
I withdraw. To close, this clause is written directly to benefit property developers who are going to be able to turf people out of their homes so they can benefit from the upzoning that Labor is putting in place right across the country. What does the government think is going to happen in Kurilpa now that the Labor Party approved the LNP council’s TLPI that allows buildings of up to 90 storeys in a flood zone? What do they think is going to happen to low-cost housing in Kurilpa with this rule when developers are going to be able to swoop in and kick people out of their properties?
Madam Deputy Speaker, I rise to a point of order. We are speaking to clause 7 of the bill in consideration in detail. I ask the member to be relevant and that she be brought back to the clause.
Member, you do need to be strictly relevant to clause
This is relevant because the result of clause 7 passing is that property developers will be getting exactly what they want.