COVID-19 coronavirus - Advice for incorporated associations and clubs

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Government measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus may impact on the management of the affairs of associations and clubs incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 2015 (the Act).

Measures such as social distancing and restrictions on the number of people allowed to gather will affect an incorporated association’s ability to hold regular meetings, including the Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Consumer Protection's regulatory approach

The Statement of regulatory intent - COVID-19 sets out the regulatory approach that Consumer Protection will take in relation to compliance with the Act in response to COVID-19. 

The Commissioner for Consumer Protection has issued the following general information to guide incorporated associations and clubs:

  • Keep up-to-date with advice issued by the Department of Health about measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus and respond accordingly. 
  • Review the need to hold non-essential meetings at this time and consider whether non-urgent business could be dealt with at a future date instead.
  • Where an association’s rules (also referred to as a constitution) permit:
    • hold meetings by electronic means; and/or
    • limiting the number of attendees present using proxy provisions to nominate people to attend and vote on their behalf.
  • Where a meeting cannot be postponed, ensure that the meeting venue is large enough for members to attend safely in accordance with the social distancing guidelines.
  • Ensure members are kept informed of any measures being implemented that may impact on them, including any proposed actions to delay or change the timeframes or formats of meetings.

Current legislative requirements remain in force, however if an incorporated association is unable to meet its obligations under the Act because of the COVID-19 coronavirus, then Consumer Protection will take these circumstances into consideration.

Extensions of time to hold Annual General Meetings (AGMs)

An incorporated association must hold an AGM in each calendar year. If the association finds it is necessary to delay or postpone its AGM more than six months after the end of its financial year, then the association may apply for an extension. The Commissioner can only grant an extension of time if the proposed new AGM date will comply with the requirements to hold an AGM in each calendar year.  The association must apply for an extension of the timeframe using Form 3- Application requesting further time to hold the AGM.  

Applications can be lodged using our AssociationsOnline service.

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