Transitioning to the Associations Incorporation Act 2015

On 1 July 2016 the Associations Incorporation Act 2015 came into effect and replaced the Associations Incorporation Act 1987.  This special chapter highlights some of the new requirements and the actions to be completed during the transition period. 

Key points

  • All associations that were incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 1987 are now incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 2015.
  • Each association must review and update its rules by 1 July 2019 to ensure the rules comply with the requirements of the new Act.
  • Associations are now required to submit an information statement to Consumer Protection within 6 months after the end of every financial year.
  • New financial reporting requirements apply to accounts prepared for all association financial years commencing on or after 1 July 2016.

Notification of address

Notification of address

All incorporated associations must provide Consumer Protection with details of their current address by 29 September 2016.

To update the address a committee member or other authorised person should log into AssociationsOnline and complete the following:

  1. Search for and link to the record for the Association.
  2. Go to Manage My Account and scroll down to the list of linked associations.
  3. Check the address recorded for the Association. If the address information is incorrect click the update button and enter the new information.
  4. When finished click the update button to complete the process.

Financial reporting requirements

Under the Act the financial reporting responsibilities of an incorporated association will depend on the tier that it falls into and is based on the annual revenue. The tiered reporting system is intended to minimise the reporting burden for small associations while ensuring that larger associations are accountable for the significant resources they control.

The tiers are set as follows:

  • Tier 1: less than $250,000 in revenue.
  • Tier 2: $250,000 to $1,000,000 in revenue.
  • Tier 3: over $1,000,000 in revenue.

The new reporting requirements apply to the financial years of all association commencing after 1 July 2016.

See Tiered Financial Reporting for more information about these requirements. 

Information statements

Associations are now required to submit an information statement to the Commissioner for Consumer Protection every year. This statement confirms for the Commissioner that:

  • an association is still active and eligible to be incorporated;
  • the address details held by Consumer Protection are correct; and
  • the association has met its obligation to hold an Annual General Meeting for the year.

The statement needs to be lodged within six months after the end of an association’s financial year. So for associations operating on a 1 July – 30 June financial year the first statement should be provided by no later than 31 December 2016. But it is important to remember that associations are able to choose their own financial year so the due date for the information statement may differ between groups.

Lodging the statement

The statement can be lodged by either the Primary or Authorised user linked to the association’s account using AssociationsOnline.

There is a step by step video available if you need help lodging the statement using the system.

Updating the rules

Each association must update its rules to include the new Schedule 1 matters and ensure that the rules comply with the requirements of the new Act by 1 July 2019.

During the three year transition period, the association’s committee has the power to make any necessary alterations to the rules so they comply with the Act without requiring members to pass the changes by special resolution at a general meeting. 

If the association has taken the opportunity to complete a broader review of its rules and is making additional changes (i.e. more than what is necessary to ensure the rules are consistent with the new law requirements), it will be necessary to pass these changes by Special Resolution at a general meeting of members.

Below are some examples of rule alterations and how they may be approved. If there is any uncertainty as to which method should be used, it is recommended that the proposal be put to members and passed by Special Resolution at a general meeting.

Type of change

Can the committee make the change?

Adding a new clause showing the association’s financial year

Yes

Updating section numbers of the Act referred to in the rules

Yes

Adopting the new prescribed model rules

No – Special resolution only

Changing the name or objects

No – Special resolution only

Changing an existing quorum already provided for in the rules

No – Special resolution only

Reducing the percentage of members who need to sign a request for a general meeting to be called from 50% to 20%.

Yes

 

A step by step guide

The step by step guide below will help make reviewing the rules easier to complete.

More in depth information about these steps is available in Associations Transition Pack 3.

  1. Use the change of rules checklist to review the existing rules to identify what changes will be required.
  2. Decide whether the association will adopt the prescribed model rules or update the existing document.
  3. When the committee is satisfied the updated rules include all of the Schedule 1 requirements and meet the requirements of the new law it’s time to call to vote on the proposed document. See Altering the rules for more information about calling the meeting.
  4. Lodge the updated rules with Consumer Protection within 28 days after the meeting has been held. The change of rules can be lodged using AssociationsOnline.

There is a step by step video available if you need help using the system.

  1. Once Consumer Protection accepts the change of rules the association can start using the new rules.