Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The WA Associations Incorporation Act - one for the super sleuths please - Michael Smith

Michael Smith: One of our readers is a genius who has some personal experience in not-for-profits and associations incorporated under the WA Associations Incorporation Act.
Quick background - the act shows that the parliament thought it was a community good that groups of sports people, artists and the like could create a corporate entity without some of the more burdensome requirements placed on companies and trade unions.
So - to Wilson, Blewitt and Gillard's abuse of the WA law.
The first item in the WA Police file on The AWU Scandal released under FOI is a copy of WA's Associations Incorporation Act.
The AWU-WRA was incorporated under the Act, thus the Act, or law, is important as to any crimes.   The police interpretation of it is very important too.   That's no doubt why police have a copy of the Act on their file.   As you can see, it's marked up, with lots of underlining and pencil marks alongside various paragraphs.
But as our reader points out in a private email to me, the copy of the Act as contained in the police file is incomplete - or has been tampered with.
This table compares the actual legislation, with the copy of the legislation in the police file.
WA Associations Incorporation comparison_001
 WA Associations Incorporation comparison_002
The essence of that comparison is that there is a complete section missing from the police force's copy of the legislation - that is from Section 5 including the requirement, on application, to verify that the Association has more than 5 members.   It's a significant omission and it begs the question, where did the WA Police copy of the Act come from.  
So let's have a look at the front page of the copy of the Act released by police under FOI.
WA police front page associations incorporation act
 There are lots of explanations as to why the front page of a file might have notations written on it.   But the presence of a Thiess business card, with the name apparently redacted, raises in my mind questions about who provided the copy of the Associations Act to police. 
I'd appreciate your views please.
There are also some important provisions in the Act relating to the property of an Association.   The provisions of the Act are contrary to Ms Gillard's claim that an incoprorated Association provided a better vehicle to house the contributions of union executives towards re-election expenses than an unincorporated approach.   The Act specifically precludes the notion of individual members receiving any of the Association's property (ie cash), the very thing that Ms Gillard nominated as the reason for selecting an incorporated association for Mr Wilson's slush fund.   In fact on windup the Act states that the property of the Association will vest in the Commissioner and will be redistributed to other charitable causes.  
Finally, have a look at Section 7, paragraph 39.   In circumstances of fraud or dishonesty, the Commmissioner may at any time direct a person who was a solicitor for an Association requiring that person to produce records etc to the Commissioner.   Would be nice to see that happen! 

The WA Associations Incorporation Act - one for the super sleuths please - Michael Smith News:

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