- Questions on Notice No 6306
- Assembly59 Parliament First Session
- Asked: 18 November 2021
Question on Notice
Mr Bull (Gippsland East) to ask the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation — Mallacoota and District Health and Support Service is a valuable asset to the Mallacoota community. Recently some concerns have been raised by community members surrounding to governance of the remote health service. It was advised several months ago that Consumer Affairs Victoria was to conduct a formal review/audit of the organisation’s governance, which was also requested by members of the Mallacoota community. This news was welcomed, but they have not been advised if this has commenced.
(1) Has this review/audit been commenced and if so, when is it expected to be completed.
(2) How will the community be advised of its outcomes and any actions that result from it.
- Answered: 10 January 2022
LA - QON - 6306 - Mr Bull - Mallacoota and District Health - CAGLR - DUE TO BE TABLED 18 DECEMBER 2021.docx
I thank the honourable member for raising this matter.
I am advised that a representative from Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) has been in contact with members of the Mallacoota and District Health and Support Service Inc. (the association), after concerns raised about governance and other disputes that are troubling members.
While neither the Minister nor the Registrar of Incorporated Associations (the Registrar), who is supported by CAV, have the power to intervene in internal incorporated association disputes, CAV has provided information about the options available to members, including that the members can make use of the association’s internal dispute resolution process to address their complaints.
Members also have the option of seeking independent legal advice about their concerns and of making an application to the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria for an order giving directions and enforcing the rights of members of the association.
I am further advised that there has been no commitment to undertake a formal review or audit of the association at any stage. Under the Act, the Registrar has no formal power to audit the governance of the association including formal decisions made by the committee. The Registrar can apply to the Magistrates’ Court to appoint a statutory manager to an incorporated association in certain limited circumstances, such as when essential services to the community are at high risk of being discontinued, serious financial mismanagement or similar situations if they are in the public interest, but those circumstances do not apply here.
While not able to undertake an audit, CAV has engaged with the association to ensure it is aware of its obligations under the Act and that relevant information has been provided to members ahead of general meetings. CAV has also ensured it has advised concerned members of the role and functions of the Registrar and of the actions it has taken.
CAV will continue to monitor the situation and engage with the association and members as necessary.
The Hon Melissa Horne MP
Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation