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Co-operatives legislation 

Co-operatives legislation provides guidance for the establishment of co-operatives and the regulation of their operations and related purposes.


NSW Fair Trading’s Registry Services administers the following legislation and the relevant regulations in relation to co-operatives, co-operative housing societies and Starr-Bowkett societies:

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Administration of Co-operatives National Law (NSW) 

For background to the CNL/AUCLA national regulatory scheme for co-operatives, refer to the CNL page maintained by NSW on behalf of the States and Territories.

NSW Orders and Exemptions

A number of orders and exemptions have been made to support the effective operation of the Co-operatives National Law in New South Wales. These are:

Prior approval of rule amendments (PDF size: 58kb)
This order under section 60(2) specifies that amendments to active membership provisions in a co-operative's rules must not be made without prior approval of the Registrar.

Class exemption (PDF size: 91kb)
This provides an exemption under section 71(1) for classes of distributing co-operatives from the disclosure requirements set out in Division 2 of Part 2.4 of the CNL.

NSW Amendment Legislation

Co-operatives (New South Wales) Amendment (Transitional) Regulation 2014

Background: The Co-operatives (New South Wales) Regulation 2014 is also known as the “NSW Local Regulations” for the purposes of the CNL. Each State or Territory is able to make its own Local Regulations, which may differ between the jurisdictions due to different administrative procedures or policies eg. for the setting of fees.

Explanation: NSW has made three amendments to its Local Regulations using the Co-operatives (New South Wales) Amendment (Transitional) Regulation 2014 (PDF size: 45kb). These changes, explained below, will improve the working of the CNL (NSW) and enable some work that needs to be done under the repealed NSW Co-operatives Act 1992:

  • Clause 16 clarifies that a person appointed as an inspector under section 372 of the 1992 Act is taken to be appointed as an inspector under section 492 of the CNL (NSW). While the general savings provision in Schedule 1 to the Co-operatives (Adoption of National Law) Act 2012 (NSW) applies, there may have been some doubt, due to the reference to expertise, experience or training requirements in section 492, which were not part of section 372, and this is overcome by this provision.
  • Clause 17 provides for delegations made under the 1992 Act to both: (i) be carried across and operate under the CNL (NSW); and (ii) to continue to operate under the 1992 Act for certain matters such as compliance work. Fair Trading received internal legal advice that a specific provision was required to enable the delegations to operate in the second instance, and this provision meets that need. This provision will in effect supplement the general savings provision in Schedule 1 of the NSW Adoption Act.
  • Clause 18 will assist users of the government’s NSW legislation website, by identifying the new section references in the CNL (NSW) that correspond to references in the 1992 Act, which are referred to in other legislation on the website.

No public consultation was undertaken for these 3 amendments, as they are of a machinery nature and do not impact on co-operatives and other stakeholders, other than to provide them with certain CNL references which correspond to the previous Co-operatives Act 1992 (NSW).

Commencement: The amendments in this Regulation started on 12 September 2014 and apply to the NSW CNL only.

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Approved forms are those forms approved by Fair Trading for the lodgement of information required by the legislation where no form has been prescribed.

Prescribed forms are those forms set out in Schedule 4 of the Co-operatives National Regulations.

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Schedule of fees 

To review the prescribed fees for the lodgement of co-operative, co-operative housing society and Starr-Bowkett documents, go to Co-operatives fees and charges.

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Further information 

For further information please contact:

Registry Services
PO Box 22
Bathurst NSW 2795
Telephone: 6333 1400
Freecall: 1800 502 042

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