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AGM New committee.


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Here's something to consider (and I don't expect anything to result of course), the last time there was a big Mari event (states or nats) at Manno they had a sepearate start. Cost of entry to this start was something like $150 when one included the cost of association fees plus race fees. This means that for people that can't do this they either won't sail or will sail in a separate start, like what happened last time, I think there was one or two windies and two or three maris. Still I did come second or third and scored a nice Ronstan bag and I think Warren scored a nice Ronstan watch.

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The matter of costs and fees was discussed at the AGM of the Maricat Association in Canberra on Saturday morning.

Public Liability insurance for the Association is about $1400 per year.

This insurance is so that we can organise our two principle events (States and Nationals).

We have again set the annual fees at $40....so it is easy to work out that we need 35 financial members to just pay the insurance.

But we don't have 35 financial members !!

We made a decision to pay the insurance this season and have used all financial reserves.

During this year we need to decide to A) find cheaper insurance, B) not have insurance C) increase fees D) close down the association.

In the last few seasons we have not charged any fees to compete in the States and Nationals (just the annual $40) plus the normal club regatta fee.

Also the Maricats have started on the same starting line as all the other 14ft cats so as not to diminish the size of the host clubs fleet.

Also I will be making up a list of potential dates and locations for the next States and Nats for discussion and consideration.

Rodney Anderson

Race Secretary

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If you are an incorporated body, the Association may be sued but "claims made against an association, either as debts or compensation for negligence, are answerable by the association and not the individual members". See: http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/Cooperatives_and_associations/Associations/What_are_incorporated_associations/Incorporation.html

Each boat entering a regatta is required to have public liability insurance; covering anything they hit.

Each sailor must be a member of the YA, which ensures each participant has personal insurance.

There seems no need for any further insurance.

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I agree this is the case as far as the constituion for Associations is concirned. We are getting advice from a solicitor. I for one don't want to lose my house over a loop hole. We are going to hold of paying the insurance untill we get close to the next event.

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I agree with you Darcy, but getting the PTs and Windies to agree is just not happening. They are convinced that there is no chance of their committees being liable for anything so they have no need to combine. We are still doing our homework. Watch this space:

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Re Public Liability Insurance and Associatons

1.Department of Fair Trading statement on Incorporation of Associations "claims made against an association, either as debts or compensation for negligence, are answerable by the association and not the individual members".

2. Note it is a "claim made against an association" not an individual.

3. This is not a "get out of jail free card" for an Incorporated Association members who have no Public Liability Insurance.

4. To understand this, lets say the XYZ Catamaran Assocation, an incorporated association that has no Public Liability insurance, is sued for compensation for a negligent act. It is revealed that the association has no money and no Public Liability Insurance. End of claim? .

Can we assume an individual member will not be sued because they are members of the XYZ Catamaran Association. But lets say that the solicitor seeking compensation decides to seek compensation from an individual(s), rather than the XYZ Association, who happens to be a member of the XYZ, as the solicitor has discovered that the XYZ's have no Public Liability insurance and therefore no possibility to pay compensation for negligence. This individual(s) was one of the organisers of an event where the claim for negligence occurred, (sent emails, wrote the SI's, post the NOR, involved in discussions). This individual could be one of many involved at the event from whom compensation is being sought as they were involved in organising the event.

Who will pay this individuals $360 an hour solicitors fees in defending him from the claimants solicitor?.

I do know that if the XYZ Association has Public Liability Insurance, the individuals liability for compensation will be referred to the Insurerer of the Association.

I'm no solicitor, I cannot financially afford to be wrong in a managing my liability for compensation negligence. The deal breaker for my membership of any club or associations is insurance to cover Public Liability.

Brenton Curran

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As a Law Student, please allow me to provide this information. This is not legal advice, which only a registered lawyer may provide. The Law Society of NSW advises "thorough research having regard to the relevant facts and current law". http://www.lawsociety.com.au/ForSolictors/professionalstandards/practicefaqs/index.htm

The relevant section of current law is the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 No 7 (NSW), section 26(2), which says:

"a member of an association (including a committee member and the public officer) is not, merely because of being such a member, liable in relation to the association’s liabilities or the costs"


That means no member may be made liable for any action or debt of the association. In the above scenario, the case would not get past the first mention in court and the individual would recover any costs outlaid.

However, a Committee ought to be aware of section 91(1), which says:

"If an association contravenes, whether by act or omission, any provision of this Act or the regulations, each committee member of the association is taken to have contravened the same provision if he or she knowingly authorised or permitted the contravention."


The key word there is knowingly. Looking at the provisions of the Act, this would apply to providing false financial statements.

Other states have similar legislation, which as the Dept of Fair Trading says "is to allow small, community based groups a simple, inexpensive means of establishing a legal entity separate from its members."


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  • 2 weeks later...

Just had a rave with Tudor Insurance, who provide public liability cover for some associations and clubs. He insists that both associations and clubs should have cover which I disagree with.

However, we agreed that:

- individuals members of the group could not be made liable

- claims could only arise from some action or negligence which made the group liable, rather than individual boats or sailors. We could not think of any actual situation where this could arise. The legal requirement is to take all reasonable measures to ensure safety. Failing somehow to do this would create liability. If each boat is insured for itself and anything it hits, each person is covered by their YA personal cover, the rescue boats and clubhouse have cover as well... what's left is some organisational error that leads to tragedy. Like what? Further, how could that ever be an association's fault when it is club's that organise races?

- if the group was sued and lost, the worst is the association would fold and a new one would have to be formed; or more to the point, the person making the claim would be left even worse off

- he suggested that the main purpose of the insurance was to cover legal defense costs. Rather than spending $1000+ a year to provide a redundant service.

I also spoke with our club's insurer, austbrokers, who agreed with me that if all the boats and clubhouse are covered, there is no further need for insurance.

David Edwards at Yachting NSW strongly recommends clubs have public liability, which would provide cover if anyone turns up who is not a YA member or has an uninsured boat.

He also says associations should have public liability, which would provide cover if running an event outside of a sailing club, or with a sailing club that is not insured.

Rephrasing that; public liability insurance for an association would be required; IF running event independent of a sailing club, or sailing club is not insured AND participants do not have their own personal and boat insurance.

I spoke with LawAccess NSW (not a lawyer), who confirmed individuals would not be liable, insurance is not required under the Associations Inc Act, but may be required under other legislation. Eg; employers must provide work cover. He said basically it's all about risk assessment.

Will be interested to hear if any legal advice can add to or contradicts this information.

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A member of association (committee member or other) is not liable for the debts of an incorporated association: see above post of 26th October.

The association itself may only be liable if they are negligent, and uninsured boats race somewhere other than at an insured club.

The sources I spoke with wanted to hold up an insurance umbrella in case the sky fell in. None were concerned that an injured sailor may need to claim for medical expenses or boat repairs. I'm now waiting on the fine print of a public liability insurance contract to better understand if or when claims may be made.

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