Changes for Qld incorporated associations

Law changes are being introduced to reduce red tape and improve internal governance for Queensland’s 23,300 incorporated associations, including 3750 registered as charities.

The changes result from passage of the Associations Incorporation and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020.  They come into effect in stages, beginning with changes that started with legislative assent on 22 June 2020.

Changes beginning on 22 June include:

  • Clarifying duty of care and diligence:  Management committee members and officers will have to carry out their functions in the best interests of the association, with due care and diligence. A maximum penalty of 60 penalty units (equivalent to $8625 from 1 July) will apply for breaches.
  • Duty to prevent insolvent trading: Members of management committees have a duty to prevent associations from incurring a debt if there are reasonable grounds to expect insolvency or near-insolvency if the debt is incurred. A maximum penalty of 60 penalty units applies for breaching.
  • Not profiting from position: A committee member or officer of an incorporated association must not use his or her position, or information obtained from the position, to gain a benefit or material advantage for himself, herself, or another person, or cause detriment to the association. Maximum penalties of up to 60 penalty units apply.
  • Disclosure of material personal interest: Management committee members will have to disclose when they have a material personal interest in a matter being considered at a management committee meeting, to the management committee as soon as they become aware of the interest and to members at the next general meeting of the association.

If a committee member has a personal interest in a matter being considered at a management committee meeting, the member will not be able to be present at the meeting or vote on the matter unless permitted to do so by the committee.

Maximum penalties of up to 60 penalty units will apply.

Law changes that are expected to begin in 2023 include:

  • Disclosure of remuneration:  Associations will be required to disclose at the annual general meeting remuneration or other benefits given to management committee members, senior staff, and relatives of management committee members or staff. The details of what must be disclosed, and how, are subject to consultation before being regulated.
  • Internal grievance procedure in place: An incorporated association will have to follow either the grievance procedure to be developed in model rules or outline an internal-grievance procedure in its own rules.