Law changes for incorporated associations

The State Government has introduced legal changes to reduce red tape and improve internal governance for the 22,900 incorporated associations in Queensland – including 3750 registered as charities.

These law changes, announced via the Queensland Government website, have been introduced by Queensland Parliament with the passing of the Associations Incorporation and other Legislation Act 2020.

Some law changes start on assent, while those remaining will come into effect over the next couple of years.

Changes that started on assent on 22 June 2020 include:

  • Use of communications technology: If an incorporated association uses technology such as videoconferencing to hold its general meetings, the provision of using this technology no longer needs to be stated in its rules.
  • Clarifying adoption of model rules: Incorporated associations will be able to either adopt the model rules, or completely replace their own rules with the model rules at any time. To do so, they must pass a special resolution at a general meeting and apply to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for registration within three months of passing the resolution.
  • Introduction of voluntary administration: Committee members now have the option to voluntarily appoint an administrator to place the incorporated association into voluntary administration if they are experiencing financial difficulties. The administrator will help manage the financial affairs of an incorporated association if it can’t pay debts or as an alternative to applying to the Supreme Court for appointment of a provisional liquidator.
  • Introduction of voluntary cancellation: An incorporated association can opt to apply for a voluntary cancellation, rather than going through a lengthy, formal winding up process. They can apply to the Chief Executive of OFT, to cancel the incorporated association.
  • Vesting of property on cancellation: If an incorporated association is wound up by the Supreme Court or its incorporation has been cancelled by the Chief Executive of OFT, we will provide notification of how surplus assets, property or money is vested by Gazette notice rather than regulation. When the Chief Executive determines that property attained under the Collections Act 1966 is unlikely to reach the intended beneficiaries, they may vest that property to the Public Trustee by Gazette notice rather than by regulation.
  • Management committee eligibility for people with convictions: People convicted of certain offences can sit on a management committee after five years (reduced from 10 years) and when the rehabilitation period for the conviction has not expired.

See the website for more information.

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