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Report on the statutory review of the Associations Incorporation Act 2009

After considering submissions made to it, including by Associations Forum, the New South Wales Department of Fair Trading has completed a statutory review of the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 (the Act). The outcomes of the review, together with a full copy of the report, can be found on the Associations legislation page on the Department’s website.

The review, which was undertaken to determine whether the policy objectives of the Act remain valid and whether the terms of the Act remain appropriate for securing those objectives, found that the Act could be improved with amendments to deal with certain aspects of running an association, which are either unclear or proving to be impractical. 

Some particularly pertinent findings include:

1) in relation to the duties of association committee members, the report notes that “two key duties are missing being the responsibility to act in good faith for the best interests of the organisation and for a proper purpose, and duty to act with reasonable care, skill and diligence.”

The recommendation is that an amendment be made to the Act to “make provision for the duties of the Committee to include the duty of each member of a committee of an association to carry out his or her functions for the benefit, so far as practicable, of the association and with due care and diligence and include protection from personal liability for members of committee who act in good faith.”

2) the recommendation that “section 28, which requires that a committee be established, be amended to include a provision to the effect that if the Constitution provides for office bearers, the number of terms that the same person can hold theoffice for is specified.”

3) the recommendation that electronic voting be allowed when association members are voting remotely, provided this is permitted by the association’s constitution.

It is intended to make the proposed amendments in 2016.

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