Rights and responsibilities of members

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All members have significant rights and responsibilities. The specific responsibilities that apply to committee members are outlined in this chapter.

Members' responsibilities

Members agree to be bound by the rules of the association unless those rules are inconsistent with the Act or some other legal obligation.

The agreed rules of an incorporated association set out the purposes of the association (referred to as objects in the Act) and the basis on which the association is to be run. In some circumstances members or others could take civil action against committee members or the association if it fails to comply with its rules.

Conduct of the association

As incorporated associations are traditionally regarded as essentially community-based organisations, they are largely independent of government intervention. Members have a crucial role in ensuring that their association conducts itself in a way that is acceptable to them. If members fail to ensure their association is run in a fair, democratic and financially accountable manner, the association may be one they no longer wish to be associated with.

False or misleading statements

All members are responsible for ensuring all documents lodged with Consumer Protection under the Act or presented at members meetings are accurate. If a person knowingly lodges a document that is false or misleading they commit an offence that can result in criminal prosecution and be subject to a maximum fine of $5,000.

Members' rights

The Act sets out some other important rights for members. Members cannot give up these rights by simply agreeing to association rules which are inconsistent with these.

All members have the right to:


Inspect and copy the association's register of members.

Section 53 of the Act

Inspect and copy the association's rules.

Section 35 of the Act

Inspect and copy the association's record of office holders.

Section 58 of the Act

Receive a copy of the rules when they join the association.

Section 36 of the Act


Annual general meeting

Attend the annual general meeting.

Section 50 of the Act

Have financial accounts showing the financial position of the association submitted to them at the annual general meeting.

Tier 1 – Section 70 of the Act
Tier 2 – Section 73 of the Act
Tier 3 – Section 76 of the Act


Special resolutions

Have proper notice of and to attend any general meeting at which it is proposed to alter the association's rules.

Sections 30 and 51 of the Act

Have proper notice of and to attend any general meeting at which it is proposed to voluntarily cancel the association

Sections 51, 129 and 141 of the Act

Have proper notice of and to attend any general meeting at which it is proposed to amalgamate the association with another group.

Sections 51 and 102 of the Act