Columns
10 years on Image

10 years on

Melbourne Water moving to Docklands
Read more >>

Away from the desk Image

Away from the desk

The little bent tree
Read more >>

Chamber update Image

Chamber update

COVID-19 and Docklands businesses
Read more >>

Docklander Image

Docklander

A staunch Docklander
Read more >>

Docklands Secrets Image

Docklands Secrets

Conflicting speeds
Read more >>

Chinese

墨尔本市长工作寄语
Read more >>

Owners' Corporation Management

Performance-based alternative solutions the key to cheaper cladding replacement costs
Read more >>

Fashion Image

Fashion

Top five street style trends
Read more >>

Health and Wellbeing Image

Health and Wellbeing

Don’t let working from home compromise your health and wellbeing
Read more >>

Letters Image

Letters

Bring on the lasers
Read more >>

Business Image

Business

Something fishy from The Espressionist
Read more >>

Owners Corporation Law Image

Owners Corporation Law

Social distancing in apartment blocks is hard to do, but necessary right now
Read more >>

Maritime

Tyranny of distance?
Read more >>

Pets Corner Image

Pets Corner

Full of Beans!
Read more >>

SkyPad Living Image

SkyPad Living

OC support in a time of COVID-19 - a tale of two cities …
Read more >>

Street Art Image

Street Art

Goodbye from Blender Studios
Read more >>

Sustainability

How fast is fast fashion?
Read more >>

The District

Eat your way through our most delicious hot spots
Read more >>

We Live Here Image

We Live Here

Microorganism dismantles Airbnb - will it ever recover?
Read more >>

Abby's Angle  Image

Abby's Angle

The world is a battlefield. Fight, but without exception, choose kindness
Read more >>

Editions

DCA rules chaos

01 Oct 2013

DCA rules chaos Image

By Shane Scanlan

The Docklands Community Association (DCA) has been operating without authority since 2009 because it failed to register changes to its rules with Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV).

The legislative breach is an added complication as it scrambles to comply with a November 26 deadline to submit new rules based on revised government-mandated model rules.

Since July 2009, the DCA has wrongly excluded Docklands business owners, ratepayers and workers from membership.

Other illegitimate changes to the way the association has been operating include:

  • Banning short-term renting residents from membership;
  • Dumping its social membership category;
  • Restricting copies of its register of members to committee members only;
  • Decreasing the numbers of members present before meetings can be held; and
  • Restricting office bearer duties to members who have had 12 months experience on its committee.

A CAV spokesperson said: “The rules that CAV approved in 2008 are the rules that govern the association.” However, the DCA is currently operating within rules it says were updated in July 2009.

The breach means that decisions taken by the DCA since July 2009 can be challenged in the magistrates court under section 67 of the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012.

The revelation came to light following Docklands News obtaining a copy of the DCA rules from Consumer Affairs Victoria.

When asked for a copy of the minutes of its July 2009 meeting, DCA president Roger Gardner accused Docklands News of conducting a personal vendetta against him “to the point of paranoia”.

Docklands News had told Mr Gardner it believed the association was operating under illegitimate rules as due process appeared not have been followed.

“You better have facts to back up your accusations as I plan to take you on at the AGM to bring your attitude into the open.  I’m looking forward to that,” he said.

“Your insinuation that I am not to be trusted is offensive, as is your arrogant belligerence,” he said.

Later, when challenged about the specific anomalies in the DCA’s rules, Mr Gardner said he was aware of the situation and planned to rectify it at a special meeting in the “near future”.

“I and our committee act in good faith.  Any inference to the contrary will be seriously viewed as will prejudicial comments,” he said.

Mr Gardner said the breach occurred “due to the committee being unfamiliar with the requirement.”

Documents obtained from CAV show that only two of the current committee were present at the 2008 meeting when the rules were last successfully updated – Mr Gardner and David Wolfram.

Mr Gardner defended the DCA’s attempted exclusion of non-residents from the association, saying none had applied to join and, in any case, the DCA lacked the resources to handle them.

The DCA is due to conduct its annual general meeting (AGM) on October 2 but rule changes are not on the agenda.

Mr Gardner said he would raise issues surrounding the rules at the meeting.  However, DCA rules insist that 21 days notice be given before any “special business” can be conducted.

Changes to law after November 26 means that the DCA will be forced to liberalise the way it conducts elections, which is currently at odds with new model laws for incorporated associations.

The new laws introduce secret ballots and state that nominations for positions and proxy votes can be received at the start of a meeting.

In setting the agenda for this year’s AGM, Mr Gardner asked members to submit nominations to himself seven days prior and proxy votes four days before.

Share on Facebook

Stay in touch with Docklands. Subscribe to FREE monthly e-Newspaper.

You must be registered with Docklands News to be able to post comments.
To register, please click here.