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National Co-operatives Law Update
Issue # 16 – May 2017

Welcome to the May 2017 issue of the National Co-operatives Law Update.

This issue informs subscribers about the commencement of the Co-operatives National Law (CNL) in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) on 1 May 2017, confirms the start of the Western Australian (WA) consistent co-operatives laws on 1 January 2017; and reports on progress with arrangements for the declaration about the WA consistent laws, for the purposes of section 7(3) of the CNL. Progress with Queensland’s (Qld) cooperatives laws is also reported on.

Topics addressed in this issue

  • ACT CNL laws started on 1 May 2017
  • Confirmation of start of WA consistent co-operatives laws and declaration arrangements
  • Qld progress with its co-operatives laws

Australian Capital Territory CNL started on 1 May 2017

After recent consultation with stakeholders about the proposed legislation that would adopt the CNL template in the ACT and repeal its current co-operatives laws, the ACT Government has decided to implement that legislation.

On 21 March 2017, the ACT Legislative Assembly passed enabling legislation that adopts the CNL for the ACT. That legislation also repeals the Cooperatives Act 2002 and the Cooperatives Regulation 2003 that operated in the ACT before the commencement of the CNL.

On 1 May 2017 the following four pieces of law commenced, which started the operation of the CNL in the ACT:

  • The Co-operatives National Law (ACT) Act 2017 which enables the adoption of the CNL in the ACT and contains local application provisions which modify its operation for that jurisdiction.
  • The Co-operatives National Law (ACT) which is the national CNL template, as appended to the NSW Co-operatives (Adoption of National Law) Act 2012, when applied in the ACT by section 7 (1) of the ACT’s enabling Act (referred to above) with the modifications set out in Schedule 1 of that Act. The CNL template is available from the NSW Government legislation website.
  • The Co-operatives National Regulations (ACT) which is the Co-operatives National Regulations (CNR) template, as published on the NSW Government legislation website, when applied with any modifications in the local regulations by section 7 (5) of the ACT’s enabling Act. The CNR template is available from the NSW Government legislation website.
  • The local regulations, the Co-operatives National Law (ACT) Regulations 2017, which includes provisions for certain matters such as exemptions, procedural matters and fees for such functions as the registration of a proposed co-operative.

Access Canberra is responsible for the registration of co-operatives and maintenance of the co-operatives register in the ACT, under the CNL (ACT). For further information about co-operatives in this jurisdiction you may contact:


Western Australian Consistent Co-operative Laws

Confirmation of Consistent Laws Start-up

Following approval by the Consumer Affairs Forum (CAF) Ministers of the proposed amendments to the WA co-operatives laws, to make them consistent with the CNL template legislation, amendment legislation was prepared by WA which commenced on 1 January 2017. As a result of that commencement, the WA Co-operatives Act 2009 and its Co-operatives Regulations 2010  were amended on that date. That amended Act and its Regulations constitute the WA consistent co-operatives legislation.

The background to the development of the amendment legislation was provided in NCL Update Issue 15.

Declaration Progress

NSW, as host jurisdiction, is continuing to work with WA and the inter-jurisdictional CNL Working Party of officials, to arrange the amendment of the Co-operatives National Regulations (CNR) with the declaration for CNL section 7(3) purposes. The publication of that declaration in the CNR, will mean the WA consistent co-operatives legislation will be a "corresponding co-operatives law", and hence operate as part of the regulatory scheme for co-operatives provided for under the Australian Uniform Co-operative Laws Agreement (AUCLA). This will facilitate co-operatives doing business across the WA border.

In line with the requirements of Part V of the AUCLA and Part 8.3 of the CNL, arrangements are being made for CAF Ministers to approve the proposed Co-operatives National Amendment (Corresponding Co-operatives Law) Regulation 2017 which contains the declaration. Once approved this Regulation can be made by the NSW Governor and published on the NSW Government legislation website.

For further information about the WA consistent co-operatives laws, you may use the following sources:


Queensland progress

Queensland withdrew from the AUCLA on 30 January 2015. Following a change of Government in 2015, Queensland is considering whether its existing co-operatives laws should be changed. In the interim, the Cooperatives Act 1997 (Qld) continues to apply.

For further information about co-operatives in Queensland you may contact:

  • website: www.qld.gov.au
  • email/social media: Twitter (@askqgov)  Facebook (@AskQGov)
  • phone: 13 74 68

The NCL Update will continue to advise subscribers about progress with the staged commencement of the CNL.


You have received this information as you have subscribed to receive free email updates on the Co-operatives National Law. New subscribers interested in background about the development of the new laws may refer to the Co-operative National Law webpage on the Fair Trading website , which includes back issues of the NCL Update.

NCL Update is produced by NSW Fair Trading on behalf of the CNL Working Party established to assist the Ministers in the COAG Legislative and Governance Forum on Consumer Affairs (CAF), who have responsibility for the CNL under the Australian Uniform Co-operative Laws Agreement (AUCLA).