Australia Post has made changes to its letter delivery service,
effective from January 2016, which has created two types of
standard letter delivery, being "regular" and
The estimated delivery times for each service are reported to
PRIORITY POST: 1 to 4 business days (depending on the
destination and origin of the letter); and
REGULAR: 2 to 6 business days (depending on the destination and
This will have an impact on both the deemed service of documents
by post under the Acts Interpretation Act 1954
(Qld) as well as the actual delivery of such notices and
other documents sent by post.
The Acts Interpretation Act provides that a notice will
be deemed to have been served in the ordinary course of post,
unless the contrary is proven. The term "ordinary course of
post" will have potential different meanings, depending upon
the method of regular post used as well as the origin and
destination of the notice.
Accordingly, the actual date of deemed service of notices will
vary depending upon the evidence submitted in relation to the
ordinary course of post between the origin and destination of each
notice. This will have an impact upon notices served by the Body
Corporate, such as Notices of Annual General Meeting, Levy Notices,
Remedial Action Notices, Contravention Notices, etc.
Given that a Notice of General Meeting is required to be given
at least 21 days prior to the date of the General Meeting; it will
be highly problematic for Bodies Corporate to have owners being
deemed to have received the Notice on different days, depending
upon their address for service.
Additionally, lot owners will need to be mindful of the likely
timeframe for postal delivery and factor this into their timing for
providing any responses to Notices issued by the Body Corporate,
for the submission of motions for inclusion in the agenda for a
General Meeting, as well as the delivery of voting papers and proxy
forms, to ensure that they are received by the Body Corporate
within the required timeframes.
The legislation and regulation modules provide that some written
notices may be given electronically, pursuant to the Electronic
Transactions (Queensland) Act 2001. Even
voting papers may be submitted electronically, provided that the
Body Corporate has previously resolved by ordinary resolution to
permit electronic voting.
The ability to serve documents electronically will not extend to
all types of documents. In particular, the service of legal
proceedings must be performed in accordance with the Uniform
Civil Procedure Rules, Service and Execution of Process Act
(Cth) and the Corporations Act (Cth), as applicable.
It is important that Bodies Corporate and lot owners are made
aware of the changes in Australia Post's delivery service and
that they consider the impact of these changes on the operation of
Schemes may wish to adopt electronic voting procedures, if they
have not done so already. However, it must be noted that some lot
owners may still wish to send and receive documents via post.
In such circumstances, Bodies Corporate and lot owners must
carefully consider the impacts of these service changes for the
origin and destination of each document sent via post to avoid
disappointment and potential disputes arising from late delivery of
Bodies corporate may also consider adopting a policy of
utilising one of the services with guaranteed delivery times for
the sake of certainty and bear the higher cost of this service.
It is also a good opportunity to revisit the accuracy of the
addresses for service held by the Body Corporate in relation to
each lot, which determines where the Body Corporate notices are
sent. Lot owners commonly cite lack of receipt of levy notices as a
reason for their failure to pay levies on time.
Obviously, this has a significant negative financial impact
Bodies Corporate and can be easily rectified by insuring that lot
owners regularly update and confirm their addresses for service as
recorded on the Body Corporate roll.
We would recommend that each Body Corporate, via its committee,
notify its lot owners of the Australia Post letter delivery changes
and we would also urge lot owners to check and confirm their
addresses for service are correct.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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