Rolled out in stages over the past three years, there have been a series of amendments to the Associations Incorporation Act 1981 (Qld) (the Act), with incorporated associations in Queensland now awaiting the impending regulation changes due to commence in 2023.
These regulation changes are to include the development of a model rule grievance procedure.
The Act already requires incorporated associations to have a grievance procedure and an incorporated association will need to either follow the model rule grievance procedure or outline an internal grievance procedure in its own rules.
This change is intended to reduce the need for members of associations to apply to the Supreme Court to resolve a matter and may result in significantly less cost.
Incorporated associations can adopt their own grievance procedure at any time before or after the model rule grievance procedure is developed, but they must include certain requirements set out in the Act, including:
- allowing a member to appoint any person to act on their behalf;
- giving each party involved an opportunity to be heard;
- providing for unbiased mediation if the dispute cannot be initially resolved amongst parties; and
- requiring the decision maker to be unbiased if the grievance procedure provides for a person to decide the outcome of the dispute.
Once the model rule grievance procedure comes into effect, incorporated associations will be given time to determine whether they want to adopt the grievance procedure outlined in the model rules or adopt their own procedure.
We are currently monitoring closely the release of the model rule grievance procedure and other impending changes to the regulations so that we can further update our clients at that time.