Incorporated Associations in breach
Due to recent legislative changes, many incorporated associations are having to review their current rules to assess whether they need to be amended or replaced in order to remain compliant.
On 26 November 2012 a new legislative framework for incorporated associations came into effect which included: a new act (the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012), new regulations (the Associations Incorporation Reform Regulations 2012) and new model rules for incorporated associations. This new legislative framework applies to all existing and new incorporated associations.
If your incorporated association operates under the old model rules, it will have until 25 November 2013 to either adopt the new model rules or draft its own rules, which must be approved by Consumer Affairs Victoria. If your incorporated association does nothing the new model rules will apply automatically on 26 November 2013.
If your incorporated association operates under its own rules or model rules that have been amended (which have been previously approved by Consumer Affairs Victoria), it can continue to use its current rules until either it adopts the new model rules or changes its rules and has those changes approved by Consumer Affairs Victoria.
If your incorporated association's own rules are inconsistent with the new legislative framework, they will no longer be valid to the extent that they are inconsistent. By this we mean that if your rules do not cover all of the requirements of Schedule 1 of the new Act, the rule in the new model rules that covers such a requirement will be automatically included in your incorporated association's rules.
Under the new legislative framework, there are now new items that your incorporated association's rules must address. These include:
- the association's name and purposes (replacing the former statement of purposes that accompanied the rules)
- member's rights and obligations
- procedures for resignation and cessation of membership
- the process for appointing and terminating the secretary
- preparing and keeping minutes of general and committee meetings
- enabling members to access minutes of general meetings, including financial statements submitted at a general meeting
- right of member's access to committee meeting minutes
Additional to the above, I note that the term 'public officer' has been replaced with 'secretary' and there have been significant changes around financial statements to be submitted under a new reporting structure.
Until 26 November 2013 the fee for adopting the new model rules has been waived, and the fee for an incorporated association changing its own rules has been reduced to $75.20.
Therefore now is an opportune time to come into BJT Legal Pty Ltd and see Jenna Charles, Stacey Grose or Hayley Coates for an assessment as to whether your current rules are compliant. Please call (03) 5333 8807 to make an appointment today.