On 26 November 2012, the Associations Incorporation Act 1981 will be replaced with the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012 (and its associated regulations). The new Act includes ‘transitional arrangements’ to help associations adjust to the new laws.
These are as follows:
Key changes are:
Schedule 1 of the new Act contains new items that an association’s rules must address. These are:
- an association’s name and purposes
- members’ rights and obligations
- procedures for resignation and cessation of membership
- the process for appointment and termination of 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 members’ access (if any is specified in the rules) to committee meeting minutes.
These associations should review the new model rules to determine if they are suitable for their purposes. If these associations do not notify Consumer Affairs Victoria about their rules within 12 months of the new laws commencing, their current rules will automatically be replaced with the new model rules.
Public officer replaced with secretary
Under the new Act, the term ‘public officer’ is replaced with the term ‘secretary’.
The new Act will introduce a three-tiered reporting structure. An association will be classed as tier one, two or three, depending on its revenue. For example:
- Tier one: $0 – $250,000
- Tier two: $250,000 – $1,000,000
- Tier three: more than $1,000,000.
This new structure will replace the current ‘prescribed’ and ‘non-prescribed’ reporting structure.
New format for submitting financial statements
Consumer Affairs Victoria will send the annual statement in a new form to associations with financial year end dates on or after 26 November 2012.
Associations with a financial year end date before 30 June 2013 will have the choice of submitting their annual statement in this new form or the current ‘prescribed/non-prescribed’ form.