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Co-operatives National Law 

A uniform set of national laws for co-operatives is being progressively introduced by the States and Territories.

The CNL aims to reduce red tape and associated business costs for co-operatives. Co-operatives wishing to carry on business across a State or Territory border no longer have to register in each jurisdiction. Smaller co-operatives have simplified financial reporting to members and no longer have to lodge publicly available accounts.

NSW is the lead (host) jurisdiction for this national project. In May 2012 the NSW Parliament passed the Co-operatives (Adoption of National Law) Act 2012. This Act has the template CNL appended to it and refers to the template Co-operatives National Regulations (CNR). The CNL commenced in NSW on 3 March 2014.

The NSW CNL laws consist of 4 pieces of legislation:

For further information about the NSW CNL laws, refer to the Co-operatives legislation page.

The new co-operatives laws in the other States and Territories using the CNL will also comprise 4 pieces of legislation, being their enabling Act, the CNL, the CNR and their Local Regulations.

Australian Uniform Co-operative Laws Agreement 

The Australian Uniform Co-operative Laws Agreement (AUCLA) sets out a number of functions to be carried out by a Ministerial Council. This Council is constituted by the Ministers responsible for consumer protection and co-operatives legislation in each of the States and Territories. The Ministerial Council is now known as the COAG Legislative and Governance Forum on Consumer Affairs (CAF).

AUCLA provides for the development of uniform laws and administration to regulate co-operatives. States and Territories have developed the CNL as the new principal uniform legislation to regulate co-operatives.

Each State or Territory may use the uniform legislation, or alternative legislation of its own jurisdiction consistent with the uniform template law.

Administration of the uniform laws will continue to be the responsibility of each State and Territory, but with a commitment to achieve administrative processes and policies.

View or download a copy of the AUCLA (PDF size: 601kb)

Co-operatives National Law Updates 

The National Co-operatives Law Update (NCL Update) is a free subscription e-news service providing information on the development and commencement of the CNL. Go to the National Co-operatives Law Updates page to view or download all editions. 

Subscribe to receive the National Co-operatives Law Update to receive email alerts about developments in this project.

Staged Commencement of CNL 

The CNL is being implemented as a staged process, with each State or Territory commencing its CNL or consistent co-operatives laws when its legislation (ie. enabling laws and Local Regulations) and supporting arrangements are in place.

Jurisdictions that have commenced their CNL or consistent laws are listed in the following table. The Co-operatives Acts and their supporting Regulations for these jurisdictions have been repealed upon commencement of the CNL in the particular State or Territory.

State or Territory Start date Supporting and contact information for a jurisdiction's CNL or consistent co-operatives laws
NSW

3/3/2014

Same date as Vic

NSW is the lead (host) jurisdiction for the AUCLA and CNL.

Enabling law: Co-operatives (Adoption of National Law) Act 2012 (NSW)

View or download: Commencement Proclamation for NSW CNL (PDF size: 21kb)

For further information about the CNL template, NSW CNL and NSW based co-operatives, refer to:

website: NSW Fair Trading - Co-operatives National Law

email: registryinquiries@finance.nsw.gov.au

phone: NSW Fair Trading, Registry Services 1800 502 042

Vic

3/3/2014
Same date as NSW

Enabling law: Co-operatives National Law Application Act 2013 (Vic)

For further information about the Vic CNL and co-operatives based in Vic, refer to:

website: Consumer Affairs Victoria - Co-operatives 

phone: Consumer Affairs Victoria 1300 55 81 81

SA

 22/5/2015

Enabling law: Co-operatives National Law (South Australia) Act 2013

For further information about the SA CNL and co-operatives based in SA, refer to

website: Consumer and Business Services - Co-operatives

email: CBS_LARASSOCIATIONS@agd.sa.gov.au

phone: Consumer and Business Services (CBS) Licensing and Registration 131 882

NT

 1/7/2015

Enabling law: Co-operatives (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2015 (NT)

For further information about the NT CNL and co-operatives based in NT, refer to:

website: Department of Business Services - Co-operatives

email: GLSAdministration@nt-gov.au

phone: Department of Business, Registry Services (08) 8999 1800

Tas

 1/9/2015

Enabling law: Co-operatives National Law (Tasmania) Act 2015

For further information about the Tas CNL and co-operatives based in Tas, refer to:

website: Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading - Co-operatives 

email: registration.services@justice.tas.gov.au

phone: Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading 1300 654 499

WA

1/1/2017

Consistent co-operatives law: Co-operatives Act 2009 (WA) as amended by the Co-operatives Amendment Act 2016 (WA).

For further information about the WA consistent co-operatives legislation and co-operatives based in WA, refer to:

website: www.commerce.wa.gov.au

email: consumer@commerce.wa.gov.au

phone: WA Department of Commerce, Consumer Protection Unit, 1300 304 054

CNL section 7(3) declaration: Arrangements are underway to provide for this declaration and are reported upon in NCL Update Issue 16.

ACT

1/5/2017

Enabling law: Co-operatives National Law (ACT) Act 2017

For further information about the ACT CNL and co-operatives based in the ACT, refer to:

website: www.accesscanberra.act.gov.au

feedback: https://www.accesscanberra.act.gov.au/app/ask/

phone: Access Canberra - (02) 6207 3000

For further information about Queensland, refer to the e-newsletter NCL Update Issue 16.

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