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  1. Greyhound Racing To Be Shut Down

    Momentus decision by NSW Govt with ACT to follow Writing on the wall for the other States. The greyhound racing industry only has itself to blame, they could not/would not fix all the endemic problems within their industry for decades and only acted to address some of them when the animal welfare issues within the industry were put under the spotlight and exposed this cruel industry for what it is. Animal Welfare within this industry was at the bottom of their priority list and only very recently were "forced" to start addressing it when it became public knowledge under the spotlight. If this exposure had not happened, this industry would have carried on with business as usual
  2. Greyhound racing officials refused to hand over names of suspected live baiters, inquiry told Greyhound racing officials refused to hand over names of suspected live baiters, inquiry told February 18, 2016 - 4:32PM Greyhound Racing NSW officials refused to hand over information to the RSPCA that could have helped identify a number of people suspected of involvement in live baiting due to privacy concerns, an inquiry has heard. The Special Commission into Greyhound Racing has been told a diary which "contained very valued information" was seized during a raid in February 2015 on an unidentified trainer who was suspected of using live animals to train greyhounds on his western Sydney property. The chief inspector of the RSPCA, David O'Shannessy, told the commission on Thursday that the society had asked Greyhound Racing NSW to identify the people in the diary, which had a list of Christian names and telephone numbers. GRNSW officials refused to voluntarily hand over to the RSPCA a diary with the names of suspected live baiters. GRNSW officials refused to voluntarily hand over to the RSPCA a diary with the names of suspected live baiters. Photo: Nick Laham But Mr O'Shannessy said the racing organisation would not assist unless they received a formal notice to produce information. Advertisement Mr O'Shannessy told the commission the RSPCA never prepared the notice or sent it. The RSPCA did not think it was appropriate in the circumstances and did not want to be seen to do anything to jeopardise any impending court cases, he said. Former Greyhound Racing NSW chief executive Brent Hogan. Former Greyhound Racing NSW chief executive Brent Hogan. Photo: Supplied Mr O'Shannessy told the commission that had a memorandum of understanding between the organisations been in place, it would have been easier to exchange information. He had told the commission a memorandum of understanding had been drafted years earlier but had never been signed or finalised for a number of reasons. These included reservations about sharing information with an organisation that did not have the same powers as it did, privacy concerns, and fears of defamation cases against the RSPCA for releasing information. The special commission was set up in the wake of last year's live-baiting scandal, which has forced a shake-up of the industry. The former Greyhound Racing NSW chief executive officer, Brent Hogan, and the board of the organisation stepped down from their positions last year after the scandal broke. The commission resumed hearings this week to hear evidence about greyhound injuries, general welfare and governance. It has been told that greyhound racing stewards were told to "desist" from providing too much detailed information about injuries and deaths of the dogs, because the industry was being plagued by "pretty bad publicity". Mr O'Shannessy said that the RSPCA received dozens of complaints a year about greyhounds but the number jumped dramatically to 100 in 2015 after the revelations about live baiting. Mr Hogan was recalled to give evidence to the commission. He said he had not been made aware of concerns by the organisation's manager of welfare, education and welfare, Tony O'Mara, or the chief steward, Clint Bentley, that live baiting was continuing and industry participants had, at consultation meetings with Mr O'Mara, baulked at any moves to stop the illegal activity. Despite documents going to the board of Greyhound Racing NSW that included areas of concern – including that the historic practice of using live animals needed to be eradicated – Mr Hogan said he believed the issue was about the public perception of dead carcasses of animals being used. When asked why Mr O'Mara had brought the issue of live baiting to the attention of the board, Mr Hogan said: "It was unclear to us." The commission has adjourned.
  3. The NSW Special Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound Racing Industry has resumed and revelations about cover-ups, reporting designed to mislead the public about the nature of the racing dogs injuries and deaths are coming to light along with details of Greyhound Racing NSW officials refusing to hand over information that could have helped identify a number of people suspected of involvement in live baiting. Links and articles from SMH below in two separate posts: Deliberate policy to mislead the public about the number or nature of injuries and deaths of racing greyhounds. Greyhounds: Stewards told not to report dogs' true injuries, inquiry told February 17, 2016 Industry 'downplayed' greyhound injuries Greyhound racing stewards were instructed to downplay the injuries and deaths of racing dogs for publicity reasons, the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound Racing Industry has heard. Courtesy ABC News 24 Greyhound racing stewards were told to "desist" from providing too much detailed information about injuries and deaths of the dogs, because the industry was being plagued by "pretty bad publicity", the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound Racing Industry has been told. In an email from the chief steward of Greyhound Racing NSW Clint Bentley to all the NSW stewards in April 2013, Mr Bentley said "it has been discussed at a recent management meeting and decided that it is in the best interests of all that we desist from providing too detailed information in our Stewards Reports with regard to injuries sustained by greyhounds". The email was read out to the hearing by the inquiry's commissioner, Michael McHugh QC, while former GRNSW chief executive officer Brent Hogan was giving evidence. An inquiry is being held into the greyhound racing industry. An inquiry is being held into the greyhound racing industry. The email went on to say that "in order to do this we suggest that you no longer report injuries such as fractures or breaks but rather just as injured: ie if a greyhound was to sustain a fractured hock we would report it as an injured hock ..." Advertisement Commissioner McHugh had been questioning Mr Hogan about whether there was a deliberate policy to mislead the public about the number or nature of injuries and deaths of the dogs. Mr Hogan told the hearing there were many different reasons considered for the way the injuries were reported, including for consistency and simplifying reporting. The email sent to greyhound racing stewards. The email sent to greyhound racing stewards. Photo: Supplied But Commissioner McHugh told Mr Hogan: "I don't find your explanations very convincing. It appears to me there was a deliberate policy to euphemistically describe injuries so it would not excite the interests of animal welfare groups." The greyhound inquiry was set up in the wake of last year's live-baiting scandal. Mr Hogan and the board of GRNSW stepped down from their positions last year. The special commission resumed this week to hear evidence about greyhound injuries, general welfare and governance. Former Greyhound Racing NSW chief executive Brent Hogan. Former Greyhound Racing NSW chief executive Brent Hogan. Photo: Supplied The hearing was told on Wednesday the discussions about the reporting of dogs' injuries and deaths was triggered by an event at Dapto race track in April 2013, in which one dog broke its back and had to be put down and another broke its neck and died. The deaths were reported the local newspaper. Mr Hogan agreed with the suggestion that the incident had generated "very negative publicity". Mr Hogan had earlier told the hearing that injury reporting was not an issue he had given a lot of consideration. He also said there was no requirement to publicly report the injuries. "I think I had a concern that, in the absence of context, that raw data could be open to various interpretations." He said he did not recall taking steps to "conceal the data". There was evidence given of other emails from GRNSW officials commenting that euthanasia of the dogs would also no longer be reported. Mr Hogan agreed he was of the view that it was not the type of publicity required. The commissioner also heard that one staff member had sounded a warning about the reporting, saying that they would be "burying ourselves further" and making it a bigger issue than it already was. It was put to Mr Hogan that the minimised reporting was being done to mislead the public. Mr Hogan said "on reflection, I can see how that conclusion could be reached." Mr Bentley also gave evidence and admitted to the commission that the practise of the misleading reporting of injuries had continued up until November last year, even after new management had been brought in. He said it was common knowledge in the organisation that the misleading stewards reports were continuing but it "never occured" to him bring it up with the new interim chief executive officer. The public hearings at the commission will continue on Thursday.
  4. Those Crazy Labradors

    Even though this subforum is very quiet these days, I hope fellow Lab owners/lovers are still reading it, so posting this: Below is facebook page setup to Help Find Yogi & Diesel, both male Labradors, one a chocolate and the other a yellow. These Labs were stolen from their Northern Gold Coast property at end of November 2015 and are still missing. They could be anywhere by now and not necessarily together. Their family is beside themselves , so any assistance to help find their Lab boys will be much appreciated. Their story has been picked up by various news outlets and is being spread far and wide, so hopefully these two gorgeous youngsters will be found and reunited with their family. Help Find Yogi and Diesel
  5. Thank you so much FHRP, that has been very helpful. Based on those instructions, it will be better and more cost effective for me to get the 1kg as it will last just over 5mths depending on how long and often I would use the stress level dosage for which would hopefully be a one time minimum of 5 days. The 250gms would only last for just over a month, so not long enough and the cost of the 1kg tub is cheaper than 2 x 250gms. Thanks again.
  6. I am looking at purchasing a 1kg tub of Protexin Probiotic, but before I do I just want to know if anyone who has a tub of Protexin can tell me what the dosage is for large dogs around 38-40kg as I need to calculate how long it will last me if I give to my Lab boy on a daily basis. The reason I need to calculate this is that I will be moving countries next year and my belongings will be going into storage for awhile and I don't think I can rock up at customs with this tub of "powder" in my possession, so not sure if I should get the 1kg tub or the 250gm tub.
  7. Condolences and hugs to everyone missing their dearly departed dogs, thoughts are with you all. Very sad Xmas day for me too as I lost my beloved Lab boy Toby 4 weeks today and it is actually his birthday today, as he was a Xmas baby, he would have been 8 yrs old today. We miss him terribly and his loss has been extremely difficult for both myself and his mate, my 6 year old Lab boy as they were great mates. Labtested, so very sorry you lost your two beautiful Lab girls in the same year, how devastating for you , would have been incredibly difficult and left a huge void. :hug:
  8. Thanks guys and yes Tassie you are so right, he did choose the time and place , he was going when he decided he needed to and I am very grateful to him that he made that perfectly clear, despite the prior arrangement.
  9. The day after I posted this thread and had contacted my Vet about putting my boy to sleep in a couple of days, my boy started showing some signs of improvement and over the next couple of days, continued to go from strength to strength with an almost miraculous improvement as he finally started responding positively to the chemo treatment. He continued to do well until around the last week in November when there were subtle signs that he was succumbing to the disease and this was confirmed in his last Oncology consult on the Wed 25th Nov. My beloved boy lost his battle with this insidious disease and was PTS at home on Fri 27th Nov 2015. I had hoped he would have a few more quality days after his Oncology consult on the Wed and had made an appt for a PTS home visit with my Vet for Mon 30th Nov, but on Thurs late afternoon he started going downhill quickly and I slept in the family room for the night by his crate as he spent all night in there which was highly unusual for him and I couldn't get him to eat any of his favourite foods or even take some Nutrigel paste that day or night and next morning and was extremely concerned with his rapid deterioration and there was no way I was going to make him wait until Monday. I rang my Vet first thing on Fri morning and asked if she could come around that morning to put him to sleep and I am very grateful they were able to come around within 20 minutes of my phone call as they are just up the road from me. His passing was very peaceful and in one of his favourite spots in the house, my bedroom on his bed where he had taken himself for a snooze in the morning after not wanting to come out of the crate all night. I was very happy that he chose to take himself to my bedroom for a snooze the next morning which took away the stress of having to get him to come out of the crate. I held him and cuddled him as he went on his journey to the Bridge I am devastated and heartbroken he got cut down in his prime, one month shy of his 8th birthday and never got the chance to live the long life he so deserved I miss him being my shadow, I miss our nightly cuddles on the couch, I miss him getting under foot in the kitchen, I miss everything about this beautiful boy. He was a very loving and extremely affectionate boy who I was very bonded with and he was extremely devoted to me. Despite his health issues, I feel very blessed he came into my life, albeit, for far too shorter a time, but his impact has been huge and I have cried a river of tears since losing him and will be grieving him for a long time to come. My other Lab boy has been very quiet and sad since Toby's passing, so I know he is grieving for him as well and I have been taking him on outings twice a day to try and help lift both our broken spirits. Run free sweetheart with my other Labbies at , you are deeply loved, very much missed and will never be forgotten. Toby (registered name: Aralyen Jingle Bell Rock) 25/12/2007 - 27/11/2015 This is how I like to remember Toby, a true Retriever at his happiest with a ball or toy in his mouth.
  10. Some poor dogs have more than their fair share of bad luck in life and unfortunately Toby, my 7yr old Lab rescue boy who I adopted 18months ago, is one of these unfortunate souls Just as he had recovered extremely well from TPLO surgery at end of January this year for a ruptured cruciate ligament and torn meniscus and had returned to full function, he was then dealt a severe blow with being diagnosed with Histiocytic Disease which the Specialist Oncologist (Veronica) at the Small Animal Hospital (SASH) here in Sydney suspected was Systemic Histiocytosis with the Histiocytosis infiltrating the gastrointestinal tract (abdominal area) I had never heard of this insidious disease prior to Toby's diagnosis as it is quite an uncommon disease and there are different varieties of it ranging from benign to malignant. The back story to all this is that when I adopted Toby he came to me with allergies and medication to alleviate skin itchiness and after chopping and changing his diet and having some success with much reduced itchiness and being off the medication, I got a referral from my Vet for an appt with Linda Vogelnest, the Specialist Dermatologist at SASH as I was concerned with his ongoing chronic ear infections and his allergies in general. Over the course of a few months of being treated by Linda, his chronic ear infections cleared up completely and he was hardly scratching at all and thing were going well for him on the allergy front. In June this year, he developed a progressively worsening itch and given his allergy history, I thought he may need to have his diet tweaked again which I did for a few weeks, but the itching didn't resolve itself and his chronic ear infections started again, so I took him to my Vet. He was given a Cortisone injection to give him immediate relief from the itching and Prednisolone tablets to take for the next 4 days and thereafter every 2nd or 3rd day depending on the itchiness. He got immediate relief from the injection and the 4 days of Prednisolone, but when I reduced to every 2nd day he started getting itchy again but not as bad as before so I persevered for just over a week of every 2nd day and then reduced to every 3rd day for another week and the itchiness returned to what it had been prior to the Cortisone injection and his skin was beginning to flake quite badly. Also his poo was changing to a yellow soft serve consistency and a lot of it so I stopped giving him the Prednisolone tablets & put him on steamed rice and boiled chicken but this didn't help and his energy levels had changed and he was seemingly depressed. He was also developing some lesions around his eye and on side of his muzzle and losing hair on his neck. I then made an appointment with Linda, the Dermatologist at SASH who treated his allergies and chronic ear infection last year and she was concerned with his deteriorating condition after checking him over and wanted to do bloodtests as well as cytology on the gunk in his ears & whilst getting this organised, she popped in to have a chat with the Oncologist (Veronica) about Toby and asked her to check him over. He was then booked in for a skin biopsy the next day as they wanted to check for a couple of different conditions, the first one being Epitheliotropic Lymphoma and the test results a few days later came back negative for this condition. More tests (stains) were then done on the skin biopsied and a few days later the test results came back positive for Histiocytic Disease. A couple of days later he had an appt with one of the Medicine Specialists at SASH and same day an Oncology appointment with Veronica where Thoracic Xrays and Abdominal Ultrasound were done to check if the Histiocytosis was systemic (i.e. infiltrated any major organs like lungs, spleen, liver etc) and I had a discussion with Veronica on the diagnosis and treatment options. Whilst all his blood tests were fine and there wasn't any evidence in the Xrays and Ultrasound that the Histiocytosis was systemic, the Oncologist believed it had infiltrated his gastrointestinal tract (abdominal area) causing the large yellow soft serve poo he has been having since July. The infiltration of the gastrointestinal tract/abdominal area cannot be detected by an ultrasound, an endoscopic examination would need to be done for that, but we didn't go down that route as not only did I not want to put him thru any more tests, I trusted Veronica's diagnosis that there was infiltration in his gastrointestinal tract (abdominal area). Also Linda (Dermatologist) has put him on two lots of antibiotics during our first visit, one lot to help with bacterial infection and the other to help settle stomach issues and despite the antibiotics and continuing with feeding him steamed rice and boiled chicken, the yellow soft serve/diarrhoea poo continued and that really provided the proof that the Histiocytosis had infiltrated his gastrointestinal tract (abdominal area). Also in amongst being treated by the Dermatologist and Oncologist, he also underwent more tests by the Medicine Vets to rule out other issues like Addison's Disease out of the equation. From the outset, Veronica explained that this disease is frustrating and can be tricky to treat and if he had the systemic version the prognosis is not good . The only treatment option for him was to start him on Chemo and see what his response to the 1st Chemo treatment would be and then to do followup testing 2-3 weeks later and determine if Chemo should continue. Unfortunately for my gorgeous boy, the Chemo is not working and his condition has been deteriorating and I was concerned he would not make his next Oncology appt next week, so had a telecon with Veronica last night and based on his deteriorating condition I described to her she confirmed my worst fears that the disease has progressed beyond any further treatment. He is now on Tramadol to make him more comfortable while I grapple with that awful decision that has to be made to end his life and not prolong his suffering. I am organising a home visit by my Vet which I have done for my other past dogs. To say I am devastated is an understatement This beautiful boy has been thru so much in his short life, from being abandoned by his original owners, shunted from home to home when his original owners tried unsuccessfully to rehome him themselves a few times before he was surrendered to one of the Lab rescue groups and when he finally found his forever home with me, he is dealt this most awful life threatening blow. I am very emotionally invested in this beautiful boy and whilst I have only had him for 18months, I have bonded very deeply with him and love him dearly and he is just such a sweetheart. I have worked so much with him on both behavioural (leash reactivenes & anxiety) and health issues to improve his quality of life and was so hoping for a long life for this darling boy. In the past my rescue Labs I have adopted have been seniors around 10 yrs of age who have been extremely fortunate in living long lives to 15 plus years of age and I was so hoping this trend would continue with this boy who I adopted at 6 years of age to give my other Lab boy, who turned 6 yrs old a couple of days ago, a mate closer in age to him as he had already gone thru losing his two best bates being the senior adopted boys who I had when I got him as a pup and who helped me raise him/mentor him. Now he will go thru losing another mate who he gets on extremely well with and has done since day 1 of Toby coming to live with us. This is one of my favourite pics of Toby with his beloved ball.
  11. Bru

    :hug: So young, it is extra heartbreaking when they get taken way before their time. Very happy that Chloe is getting lots of attention from your little boy, will be doing both of them a lot of good as they grieve for Bru.
  12. My Dogs Are All At Emergency

    Wow how exceptionally scary that must have been for you. Bad enough one dog having to be rushed to emergency, but multiple dogs, is heart attack stuff. Sending lots and lots of best wishes, healing vibes and positive thoughts their way for a full and speedy recovery and lots of for you.
  13. Bru

    I haven't been around for a little while and logged on today to do some research on an issue and thought I would check in to see how Bru was doing and I am so very sorry to read this update on the loss of your beloved boy. My heart goes out to you and I know how devastated you must all be over losing your darling boy and no doubt reeling over how it happened so quickly. My thoughts are with you and your family as you all grieve for Bru . Your beautiful memories of your boy will help you through the darkest days and he will know that he will be forever in your hearts and remembered and loved always. Run free Bru at with all the other Labbies and I am sure some of them have been showing you all the best Labby spots.
  14. Overweight Showdogs

    That's a really good question. I would pick the fat dog. Fat can be corrected with diet and exercise, but there is no correcting incorrect structure, soundness, type and temperament.
  15. There were more than 90 proposed changes to strata laws announced by the NSW Government this week – some are big changes in the concept of property ownership, others are tweaks and finesses to existing laws, bylaws and rules. One of the changes is for pets in apartments/units managed by Strata laws as follows: Link and full article below on the changes, announced by Fair Trading Minister Victor Dominello​, that will affect ordinary strata residents – owners and tenants – most? NSW Strata Law changes Strata laws: the 8 changes that will most affect apartment residents and owners Date: July 17, 2015 - 9:17AM Jimmy Thomson, Flat Chat columnist Pets, parking and smoking: Here are the key changes to strata law that will affect you. Photo: Marina Oliphant There were more than 90 proposed changes to strata laws announced by the NSW Government this week – some are big changes in the concept of property ownership, others are tweaks and finesses to existing laws, bylaws and rules. But what were the changes, announced by Fair Trading Minister Victor Dominello​, that will affect ordinary strata residents – owners and tenants – most? Over-crowding The proposal: to allow owners' corporations to create bylaws limiting the number of adults who can live in an apartment (although that limit can't be set at fewer than two adults per bedroom), with fines for over-crowding to be raised to $5500. The intention: to curb the multi-occupancy of apartments in blocks near the city or universities, because of health, safety and the detrimental effect these "battery cage" apartments have on other residents of the buildings. Mr Dominello is also looking to the Boarding House Act that he successfully steered through the last Parliament, which allowed council inspectors to use circumstantial evidence, such as the number of people coming and going from houses, to show there was probably overcrowding. This allows councils to bypass rules that meant they had to give landlords advance notice that they were coming to look around their properties, thus allowing these landlords to remove any evidence of multi-occupancy. The effect on residents: owners will be able to limit the number of people in a flat, find it easier to gather evidence, then take effective measures at the NSW Civil Administration Tribunal to get apartments cleared and fines imposed. Parking The proposal: to allow owners' corporations and local councils to let council parking inspectors patrol strata car parks and issue fines to people who have parked where they shouldn't. The intention: parking is one of the most contentious areas of strata life, especially since the law seriously limits what owners' corporations can do about rogue parkers (especially non-residents). It's an area that leads to arguments and even violence. Just last week a driver was convicted and fined $2000 for "keying" the car of a woman who blocked him in for stealing her parking space. The effect: once signs go up and the parking inspectors come in, everybody will have to be on their best behaviour. Sure, the non-resident commuter who parks in a visitor spot will get a ticket, but so may you if you park briefly in the driveway or over the lines round your space. Be careful what you wish for! Defects Bond The proposal: developers will have to place a bond of 2 per cent of the value of the building to cover potential defects after completion. The Intention: to protect buyers of new units, especially first-time buyers, create more confidence in the industry and force the bad developers to have the same diligence as the good ones … or pay a price. The effect on owners: owners of new apartments who discover defects will no longer face the choice of accepting them and paying for rectification themselves, or rolling the dice by pursuing recalcitrant developers through the courts just to get what they paid for. It will also clip the wings of fly-by-night, one-off developers who disappear as soon as the last unit is sold. Pets The proposal: to change the standard or default bylaw to state that pets are allowed, provided that the strata committee approves, although that approval can't unreasonably be withheld. The intention: to create a default situation where pet ownership, under reasonable conditions, is allowed. The effect: this will make no difference to older building that have established bylaws, or new buildings where they have written their own bylaws. But for the many buildings that just go with the basic by-laws recommended by Fair Trading, you can have a pet unless the owners' corp has a very good reason for saying no. Smoking The proposal: a small but significant note on the section on residents' behaviour identifies smoke drift as a potential "nuisance" under the legal meaning of the word. The intention: rather than placing a blanket ban on all smokers, this allows strata communities to police their own buildings where, for instance, people might be able to smoke like chimneys without bothering anyone. The effect: it's very much up to individual owners to decide what they want to do about neighbours' smoke. "A property owner has certain rights to do as they please in their home but they also have a duty of care to ensure they don't cause a nuisance with their neighbours," says leading strata lawyer and chairman of the Owners Corporation Network, Stephen Goddard. "By identifying smoking as a nuisance, this allows owners to take action without passing a bylaw imposing a ban on people smoking in their homes, which would be a serious reduction of property rights and almost certainly illegal." Collective Sales The proposal: to allow 75 per cent of residents of older buildings to agree to their sale to a developer for redevelopment, regardless of the wishes of the minority. Currently this requires a 100 per cent vote. The intention: to remove the opportunity for individual owners to prevent redevelopment of their aging and high-maintenance unit block, or even hold their neighbours to ransom by holding out for an inflated price. The effect: simply put, about 8000 apartment blocks in established communities in NSW will be viable redevelopment sites where newer, safer and healthier buildings can be built, accommodating two or three times as many residents. An advice hotline and advocacy services are to be provided for the vulnerable and elderly, and fair compensation mechanisms will be established but, inevitably, some people will be evicted from their homes. Karen Stiles, executive officer of the Owners Corporation Network, welcomed the additional protections for strata owners, "such as the hotline and free legal advice and advocacy for the more vulnerable members of the community", but says the policy should still have a 100 per cent vote for blocks of four units or less, and 80 per cent for larger blocks. Charmaine Crowe, senior adviser with the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association of NSW, says this change will benefit "investors but not owner-occupiers who are not ready to sell or who just like where they live". "Lowering the vote for termination of strata schemes … serves no public policy purpose. The NSW government is simply caving in to pressure from property developers." Renovations The proposal: to create a three-tier permissions regime that allows certain minor work to be done without permission, some significant renovations to be carried out just with a simple majority vote of the owners' corporation and, for major renovations, especially anything affecting common property and water proofing, the full gamut of special resolutions, bylaws and restrictions. The Intention: to make it easier for strata owners to live in a home that suits their needs and sense of style without requiring something just short of an act of parliament to hammer a nail in a wall. The effect: more trips to Bunnings, fewer calls to your strata manager and lawyers. Proxy Harvesting The proposal: owners in buildings of fewer than 20 units will be allowed to carry only one proxy vote. In larger buildings the limit will be 20 per cent of the vote or five votes, whichever is less. The intention: to prevent committee chairmen, or women, from hoovering up the votes of the absentee investors, the uninterested and the uncommitted so they can run a building as their "personal fiefdom", to quote the minister. The effect: the reality is that the "proxy farmers" have seen this coming for a while and will probably organise "proxy panels" of supporters who will share the votes and make sure nothing changes. But other measures including electronic meetings and voting will ensure those who want to take part but live elsewhere can participate if they want to. "This is a long overdue protection for the minority," says Daniel Linders, a prominent strata manager with Strata Choice. "It will help to prevent situations when one person has the motivation and the ability to gather votes with the sole intention of pursuing their own agenda, often to the detriment of their strata community."