Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Body Corporate Issues - The Mediterranean Resort

0427 523 119 Graeme Brattle
8C/3 Second Avenue
Burleigh Heads Qld 4220
18 November 2009

Dear Mediterranean Owners
As you may or may not be aware there are currently issues between the Body Corporate Committee and myself as a current Body Corporate committee member, and the Body Corporate Committee and the Management, being the Sands Group.
I have decided to put pen to paper and give you my perspective of how I see things as I will not be able to attend the next Committee meeting on the 27 November, due to being interstate on this date.
At the last Annual Meeting I strongly expressed that we needed to treat that meeting as a 'watershed' and to move on from the past and to 'start afresh' in the ongoing relationship between the Body Corporate Committee, CTS and the Sands Group.
I had great hopes that what had taken place in the past could be left in the past - albeit still to be worked through to sort out issues of concern, but with the expectation that we had moved on from the events that caused the unresolved concerns in the first place.
At that meeting it was also agreed that future minutes of the Body Corporate Committee meetings would be fleshed out to enable the reader of the minutes to fully understand what was taking place in the meetings in relation to items under discussion.
Sadly, I do not believe that since then we have lived up to the expectations of those two wishes.
Currently you will see that according to the October newsletter to the Owners from the Sands Group, that a considerable sum of our money has been spent by the Committee on Lawyers and Default Notices.
This begs the question: “What is going on that is so bad as to cause the Committee to take such action?”
From where I sit, the simple answer is, money. The amount in question being the $200,000 that we as owners currently pay to the Sands Group under the 'Caretakers Contract'.
I believe that with the action being taken by the Committee against the Sands Group that the Committee is looking to build up enough evidence against the Sands Group to be able to take the matter to a Tribunal and have that Tribunal declare that the Sands Group is no longer a suitable entity to continue to hold the Caretakers Contract.
To do this successfully the Committee will need to build up a history of Default Notices that have not been remedied or suitably actioned by management to the satisfaction of the Committee. This takes time, and it comes at a financial cost as well.
This would then allow the Committee to either manage the duties under the Caretakers Contract themselves or to re-advertise the contract for another third party to take on board.
Either way, I believe that the Committee believes that this can be done with eventual savings to us as owners.
This may or may not be true, as one thing that life has taught me is that there is very little that can be taken as certainty save taxes and death.
What I do know is that such action as is currently being taken by the Committee will end up being a very costly exercise, especially if the Sands Group mount a defence at the Tribunal, should matters go that far.
So where do I fit into all of this. Well it appears that in the minds of some of the Committee members, I am too close to the Sands Group to be able to look at 'the big picture' and that action that I have taken has been considered by some to be inappropriate, and that accordingly it would be better if I was no longer on the Committee.
This was demonstrated by the Committee declaring a Vote of No Confidence in me as a committee person at the Body Corporate Committee meeting on the 11 September 2009.
A reading of those minutes would have you believe that I am far from being a suitable candidate to hold such a position.
I have sent a letter to CTS indicating that I was not happy with the said wording of the minutes recorded in relation to the vote of no confidence and I have requested that the minutes be amended accordingly.
For your information a copy of that letter and a copy of the 7 points of failing follow:



I am writing to object to the wording of the section of the minutes as they relate to the tabled letter from J. Abbot ' That a vote of no confidence in Mr Brattle be put to the meeting'.
I am very disappointed to see that regardless of the efforts that we agreed to at the last Annual Meeting to ensure that a reader of the minutes would have a strong understanding of what occurred at each stage of the Body Corporate Meeting, that this part of the proceedings was very short in substance.
Accordingly I am requesting that the minutes be amended to note that the following was the chain of events.
1. Prior to the Meeting resuming after the Caretakers Report, I was invited to join the Chairman and the other members of the Committee. In the discussion that took place the Chairman informed me that a vote of no confidence would be read out at the meeting ad that on all indications it would be passed. The Chairman advised that the Committee thought my relationship with the Caretakers (John and Jane Belcher) was too close to home and that for me to remain on the Committee would not be in the best interests of other Unit Owners, and would hinder the activity of the Body Corporate Committee in fulfilling it's functions.
I then informed the Chairman that I had no intention of resigning and that the vote of no confidence had best proceed.
2. On recommencing the Meeting the Chairman advised that he had received a letter from Mr J Abbot requesting that a vote of no confidence in me as a Committee member, be placed before the meeting.
The Chairman indicated that the letter had the support of other Committee members as well.
Paul Cassels from the Body Corporate Management (CTS Management Pty Ltd) then read out a seven bullet pointed note. A straw vote was taken and the result was 100% supportive for the vote of no confidence.
Following the reading of the note I was then asked by Paul Cassels as to my response. I indicated to all present that I would reply in writing at an appropriate time after I had had a chance to digest the contents of the note.
I then requested a copy of the note to assist me with by defence of the claims made against me. The Chairman responded that I would have to wait as the note would need to be run by a Solicitor to ensure that there was nothing of a defamation issue contained in the letter. For the record I subsequently received a copy of the note one week later by email from Paul Cassels. My request for a copy of the motion was not included in the minutes, neither the reply from the Chairman that I would have to wait until the document had been run via a Solicitor in relation to any issues of defamation.
3. I was then asked by Paul Cassels to declare if I had any affiliation, interest or other dealings with The Mediterranean Management, The Sands Group or any other party associated with those entities.
My reply was along the lines of yes, I did, in that I had offered participation in my business as a 'cost free' exercise to both the Belchers and their staff, which was nothing more and nothing less than what I had offered to the very committee members who were sitting in front of me. The second part of my response was not included in the minutes.
4. As I had indicated that I was not willing to step down as a committee member, it was then decided that my fate would need to go before an EGM. This also was not included in the minutes.
5. I am happy with the wording of the remainder of that section of the Minutes, commencing with the comment by Mr R. Jacobs.
Would you please advise if a date for the EGM has been struck, as I am still preparing myself to respond to the motion of no confidence.


Graeme Brattle
0427 523 119

Copy of the 7 points of failing:

10 September 2009
• Inappropriate Behaviour. Mr Brattle has NOT acted in the best interest of the Body Corporate (all lot owners). Examples may be provided.
• There has been a breach in the Committee Communication Procedure, where by Mr Brattle has communicated directly with the Caretaker without the Committee’s prior consent.
• Mr Brattle has further breached the Committee’s Invoice Payment Procedure and caused disruption and significant delays in the payment of body corporate accounts. Unauthorised invoices have been deliberately forwarded to CTS Management without the prior approval of two (2) nominated Executive Committee Members.
• Mr Brattle has provided ill informed information to CTS Management and claimed that Telstra Employees were on site to disconnect Essential service lines (this is in breach of the Telstra Duty of Care Agreement).
• Mr Brattle has failed to provide details of the “Building Contractor attendance Register” to prove this.
• Mr Brattle has provided ill informed information to CTS Management regarding the Qualification Requirements of the Resident Caretaker Manager (Real Estate Licences).
• Mr Brattle has failed to follow Committee Expenditure Requirements, and made arrangements with contract suppliers without the prior written consent of the Committee and without notifying the Body Corporate Committee.
The behaviour of Mr Brattle has been in contradiction to committee resolutions and policy and appears to be continually toward the benefit of the Caretaker and NOT that of the Body Corp and Committee.
He is asked to declare any affiliation, interest or other with The Mediterranean Management Sands Group etc.

On the 26/10 I sent the following email to Paul Cassels from CTS MANAGEMENT PTY LTD

Thank you for your email indicating that the Committee would be open for me to continue on the Committee as an ordinary member provided that I remain removed from any action that the Committee may take against the current Caretaker.
I must stress that it was out of courtesy to the Committee that I left the meeting at the time that I did on the 11/09 as the Committee was paying for the time that Dawn Tran from Gadens Lawers was present and I did not want that to end up being a waste of time and money.
I am also concerned that I was not provided with the opportunity to contribute to the final wording of the minutes of the meeting of 11/09, and also that I was not made privy of the second meeting on the 01/10, especially as it was resolved by the Committee members present on the 11/09 that I remain an Ordinary Committee Member with equal voting rights for all other matters.
After taking the above into consideration, along with the manner in which the action of a 'vote of no confidence' in me was handled, I am advising that I would like the Committee to pursue the 'Vote of no confidence' action thereby allowing me the right to be heard by the owners of units at The Mediterranean Resort at the appropriate time.
In the meantime I remain hopeful that the current Committee will allow me to fulfil my obligations to the owners of units in The Mediterranean, by allowing me to be present at any Committee meeting held before the EGM takes place. Again, I will absent myself from any discussion that relates between any action between the Committee and the Caretaker as well as any discussion that relates to the Committee and action against myself.


Graeme Brattle
0427 523 119

So there it is, at the moment things are in limbo as I am waiting on the Committee to see if they will proceed with the Vote of no confidence action, as should they decide to do so I will be asking for a copy of all evidence prior to my responding to the seven bullet points.

I also believe that my personal relationship with members of the Sands Group via our business - Where there is a Will - is far enough removed so as not to influence any action that I may deem is appropriate as a Committee member of the Mediterranean Resort Body Corporate. However, I will need to rely on your confirmation that you would be happy for me to continue as a committee member in order to remain on the Committee.

Should you have any questions for me in relation to the content of this note, do feel free to give me a call.


Graeme Brattle
Unit Owner 2403
0427 523 119

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