Copied from the
Group's Face Book page, posted on May 9, 2018.
Hi all, As you are all no doubt aware, the repeater group is going through what could be best described as, a bit of turmoil. I am not going to pass any judgement or make any comment on what has happened, just detail what I understand has happened, the current state of affairs and outline a plan of attack to sort it out.
What has happened and where are we now?
The association received an enquiry from the Dept of Commerce (The associations regulator) following an official, in writing, complaint they had received from a member of the public.
The then secretary of the Association answered the query, explaining that an email request for a copy of constitution and copy of the group's financial records had been received from an anonymous person who was not a member of the association. The regulator agreed that it was a baseless complaint but asked if a proper register of names was kept, as required under the State Association's Act Of Parliament. The then secretary had to truthfully say that there were no recorded contact details for the members as they all wished to remain anonymous as per the nature of UHF CB radio.
The regulator indicated that if a proper register of members was not kept then the association should not be an 'Incorporated' association but should be an 'Unincorporated' association. These entities could exist and the group could continue as normal, without the need to follow the regulations to the letter of the law. They advised the association to end the ‘Incorporated’ association and continue as an ‘Unincorporated’ association. There are some quite stiff financial penalties for the management committee if they continued without following the rules.
The committee called a meeting where the motion was put to end the legal status of the association. This motion was passed and the paperwork submitted to the regulator.
I first heard of this course of action on the Sunday callback following the submission and immediately contacted the committee.
I provided information from the Act that indicated the if an association ended it's legal status (drop the Inc from its name), then all assets must, by law, be donated to a charitable association or another association as per the registered 'Asset Distribution Plan'. This would have meant that the group would lose basically everything, including the site the repeater is housed at. The regulator confirmed that this was indeed the case.
Because of the agreement in place with many parties at the repeater site, any new operator would need to gain the written approval of every other tenant at the site to be allowed in the door. One of the commercial operators had indicated previously to me that they would prefer to be the sole tenant at the site as they were not used to sharing sites. I believe there is a very slim chance, if a tenant left, that any new applicant would get the necessary agreement from all other existing tenants.
The secretary at the time then contacted the regulator and requested they halt the process of deregistering the association. The regulator is happy for this to happen. A copy of the minutes of the meeting where this decision is ratified, needs to be submitted.
Two committee members have since formally resigned in writing (Secretary & Vice-president) and a third (Treasurer) indicated verbally that they would resign in writing on return from holidays. Another committee member (president) is away on holidays and their intentions are not yet known. 2 ordinary committee members have indicated that they are willing to remain. So that's the sort of brief version of how we got to where we are at this point and how we got there. If there are no minutes provide to the regulator to reverse the previous decision, the association will be wound up and everything will be lost.
Under the current constitution if a vacancy occurs on the committee then the remaining members of the committee can appoint someone to fill the role until the next AGM.
At a meeting to be scheduled, hopefully on Sunday 20th May 2018, the remaining committee members appoint 3 members to fill the roles of the resigned committee.
A motion is put to rescind the previous motion to dissolve the association.
The minutes of this meeting with the decision are forwarded to the regulator.
The regulations call for the members register to have a 'Name' and a method of contact. The name does not have to be your full name, indeed it can be your CB name. The contact method however, must be valid. This can be a residential address, postal address, phone number or email address. I would suggest every member, if they do not wish actual details to be recorded, set up an email address such as 'email@example.com'. This will ensure that private details cannot be released as they will not be held by the group. In the interim, I have had an offer to use a PO Box and I have a PO Box that can be used. I am willing for members to use the PO Box as their contact address.
A simple register of members be made from those attending to satisfy the regulator. To be an association there must be a minimum of 6 names. These can be committee. If a member does not wish to give any contact details then they cannot be a member by law, and their $10 has to be treated as a donation.
After that is all done and dusted the constitution is still required to be brought in line with the new associations act of 2015. It should be made a simple and as flexible as possible whilst complying with the law, to minimise any regulatory burden for any future committee. There needs to only be 1 meeting per year by law, and that is an AGM. I would recommend that affairs of the group remain just private amongst members and not discussed on air. This will stop the majority of negative comment that seem to abound, from time to time, so to speak, per say. Sorry couldn't help that.
Sorry for such a long post, but it needs to be said. Any feedback welcome. Please tell me what you think. Happy to answer any questions.
Cheers, Tek Ray.