A ‘proxy’ can mean two things: an actual ‘proxy’ and also a ‘proxy vote’. A proxy is someone you appoint to cast your vote for you. If your proxy casts your vote, then they cast a proxy vote. A committee member can have a proxy at a committee meeting and a lot owner can have a proxy at a general meeting. So what are the restrictions on proxy use at a committee meeting under the Standard Module?
Generally there are few restrictions unless the body corporate, by special resolution, decides to limit the use of proxies. Otherwise, a committee member can only give a proxy to another committee voting member for one meeting at a time. This means that, after any meeting, the proxy expires and if a person wishes to rely on a proxy they must appoint them again. It also means that the body corporate manager cannot be a proxy as, although they are a committee member, they are not a committee voting member.
Further, the secretary or treasurer can only appoint a proxy with committee approval. A person can only be the proxy for one other person. A proxy cannot be exercised if the person who gave the proxy is actually present at the meeting – if they are present, if they want to vote, they must vote themselves. Also if the scheme is a principal scheme with subsidiary schemes, a proxy cannot be exercised.
A committee member can only use a proxy twice in any year that the committee is appointed. The idea here is to ensure that committee members actually perform their role and do not simply give their votes to one person who controls everything. Also, a proxy vote cannot be cast by a proxy if they know the person whose vote they are casting would have a conflict of interest. They can still cast their own vote, though. Further, if the proxy personally has a conflict of interest, they cannot exercise their own vote or their proxy vote.
It is an offence to cast a proxy vote if you know you are not entitled to do so. Proxies should be given carefully in committee meetings, as you are effectively giving your vote entirely to someone else.
This article is intended as general information only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. For specific legal advice please contact us here.