Understanding Extraordinary General Meetings (EGMs) in a body corporate

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Among the various meetings held by the body corporate, the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) stands out as a significant event. It is crucial to provide a mechanism for addressing urgent issues and making important decisions outside the regular meeting schedule.

This article explores what an EGM is, why it is important, and the process for calling and voting on a motion via an EGM.

What is an EGM?

An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) is any general meeting of the body corporate that is not the Annual General Meeting (AGM). EGMs are convened to address urgent or specific issues that cannot wait until the next AGM. Unlike regular meetings which are scheduled periodically, EGMs can be held at any time of the year whenever there is a need.

A body corporate can have as many or as few extraordinary general meetings as it wants.

Key characteristics of an EGM

Purpose-driven: EGMs are called to discuss and resolve particular issues requiring immediate attention. These issues can include major financial decisions, amendments to by-laws, appointment or removal of committee members, engagement or termination of service contractors or addressing disputes among owners.

Flexibility in scheduling: EGMs can be convened at any time, offering the flexibility needed to address urgent matters without waiting for the next scheduled meeting.

Notice and quorum requirements: 21 days’ notice must be given to all members of the body corporate, specifying the agenda, date, time, and venue of the meeting. A quorum of 25% (unless a body corporate has authorised a different percentage) of eligible voters is required to validate the meeting.

Decision-making: Decisions made during an EGM often require a voting process, which may involve a simple ordinary or special resolution, depending on the nature of the issue. In some cases, motions can also be decided by secret ballot.

Who can call an EGM?

An EGM can be called by:
Committee Members – If approved by a majority of voting committee members.
Owners – Through a written request signed by owners of at least 25% of lots or their representatives. This request must include signatures and the motions to be decided at the meeting.
Authorised individuals – A person authorised by an adjudicator’s order, for example an appointed administrator, can also call an EGM

Process for owners requesting an EGM

Typically, the committee decides to call an EGM and it does so by a majority vote. However, owners can also request an EGM by submitting a notice to the body corporate secretary, or in their absence, to the chairperson. The request must include:
  • Signatures of owners representing at least 25% of the lots
  • The motions to be considered.
The person receiving the request must call the EGM within 14 days, and the meeting must be held within six weeks of receiving the notice. If the meeting is not called within this timeframe, the requesting owners can ask another committee member to call the meeting within 14 days, or lodge an application with the Office of the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management.

Notice requirements for an EGM

Each lot owner must receive written notice of an EGM at least 21 days before the meeting. The notice can be delivered personally, via email, or another agreed method, and must include:
  • The date, time and place of the meeting
  • The agenda
  • A proxy form
  • A company nominee form
  • Voting papers for all open and secret ballot motions
  • Any explanatory schedules or materials required

Agenda and voting paper for an EGM

Unless an EGM has been requisitioned by an owner(s), the committee decides the EGM agenda, which must include:
  • Motions listed in the request for the EGM
  • Whether the motion is a secret ballot
  • If there is an explanatory note for the motion
The secretary prepares hard copy and, if applicable, electronic voting instructions for all motions. Voting papers must clearly state each motion, the name of the submitter, the type of resolution required, and instructions for voting electronically.

If the body corporate manager and/or secretary receives a motion in writing for consideration at a general meeting, these motions must also be included in the EGM agenda as well. For example, if an owner lodges a motion for the AGM but an EGM occurs first, the motion must be included on the EGM agenda.

Explanatory Schedule

The explanatory schedule is part of the EGM notice and includes material about the motions on the agenda, including:
  • Explanatory notes from the submitter of each motion (up to 300 words).
  • An explanatory note from the committee (no word limit).

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