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Resolving disputes 

Incorporated associations 

Who handles disputes within an association? 

The management committee of an association is responsible for the administration of the association, including the handling of internal disputes between members, as well as disputes between members and the association. This is done in accordance with the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 (the Act) and the association's constitution.

The association must provide a procedure in its constitution for the handling of disputes.

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What should I do if I have a dispute? 

The first step is to try to resolve the dispute directly with the parties involved. If appropriate, you can use the dispute resolution procedure outlined in the constitution.

If the constitution does not include a dispute resolution procedure, then the procedure outlined in the Model constitution should be used.

If the matter remains unresolved, you may wish to seek appropriate legal advice or use an alternate dispute resolution (ADR) service.

For more information on ADR services, contact:

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Can NSW Fair Trading intervene in a dispute? 

Fair Trading’s role is to administer the Act. Fair Trading can only intervene in matters as set out in the Act and the Associations Incorporation Regulation 2016 and generally cannot intervene in any dispute.

Specifically Fair Trading cannot:

  • provide legal advice
  • act for particular parties to a dispute
  • provide an interpretation of the constitution or rules of an association
  • intervene in matters relating to the internal administration of an association, including the conduct of meetings and elections
  • intervene in internal disputes
  • determine the facts of any internal dispute.

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Where can I get legal advice? 

You can get legal assistance from the following sources:

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Need more information? 

Contact Registry Services
PO Box 22
Bathurst NSW 2795
Tel: 02 6333 1400
FreeCall: 1800 502 042
Email: registryinquiries@finance.nsw.gov.au

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