Due to COVID-19 and the restrictions now in place on public gatherings, some associations may find it difficult to comply with the legislative requirement around holding Annual General Meetings.
With this in mind, the Government is granting a 6 month extension for associations to lodge periodic returns and hold Annual General Meetings.
If technology can be used, associations may wish to consider holding a 'virtual' AGM (either online, or via teleconference).
Associations should remain mindful or good governance practices – including accessibility and inclusiveness, appropriate record keeping and giving members reasonable notice of meetings – regardless of the form an AGM takes. As always, you should ensure that members are able to ask questions or raise concerns about the way a meeting is run.
In some cases, for example where members can’t access the appropriate technology, it will be appropriate to instead defer the meeting.
Subject to the above, CBS will not take action where a virtual AGM is held, but does not comply with the association’s rules due to requirements that meetings are held in person.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission have both prepared useful advice around holding Annual General Meetings remotely, that may help associations explore this option.
For more information, contact associations [at] sa.gov.au
While Consumer and Business Services will not take action in related to non-compliance involving actions in response to COVID-19, this doesn't protect the association against any third party claim that the action contravened the legislation.