As seen in the March 2021 edition of Bowls Queensland's Queensland Bowler.
Most bowls clubs are incorporated associations. In November 2019, the Queensland Government proposed amendments to the legislation governing incorporated associations aimed at reducing red tape and improving internal governances. While some changes have already come into effect, other amendments are expected to commence over the coming months.
Who does this affect?
The changes will apply to any bowls club that is an incorporated association under the Associations Incorporation Act 1981 (Qld) (the Act).
When did the changes come into effect?
The changes were introduced in Queensland Parliament in December 2019. Since then, a raft of changes came into effect on 22 June 2020.
The remaining changes are expected to come into effect in two tranches over the next two years, on 30 June 2021 and 30 June 2022.
Law changes are also being considered to amend the Associations Incorporation Regulation 1999, however the details of these changes and expected timeframes have not been released.
So, what are the changes?
Set out below is a breakdown of the impending amendments, along with the corresponding date each change will come into effect.
Changes expected to commence by 30 June 2021
The changes that are expected to commence on 30 June 2021 include:
Breaching these duties or failing to disclose conflicts and benefits will incur a penalty and be administered by the Office of Fair Trading. There will be defences against an alleged breach of these duties in certain circumstances.
Changes expected to commence by 30 June 2022
Further changes are then expected to commence by 30 June 2022 that will require associations to have an internal dispute resolution process or grievance procedure. We will provide an update in the future edition regarding these changes.
What should my bowls club do next?
Bowls clubs that are incorporated associations should – in conjunction with their committee members – familiarise themselves with these proposed changes and ensure they are prepared for when the changes come into effect. Practically, these will not have a major impact on the day-to-day operation of your club, but will need to be incorporated into your internal governance policies and practices.
Article written by Matthew Bradford (Partner) and Annabelle Efstathis (Associate).
"The content of this publication is for reference purposes only. It is current at the date of publication. This content does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be obtained before taking any action based on this publication."