Nominations, Motions & Apologies

Nominations, Motions & Apologies

 

Dear Sub Branches,

Please find the motions and nominations for the upcoming RSL (Queensland Branch) State Congress on this page. You can also find our full 2016 Annual Report here.

As our Annual Report illustrates, RSL (Queensland Branch) continued to grow and evolve during 2016, our centenary year. We are immensely proud of our work and of our journey to date and trust you will find the document of interest.

Yours sincerely,

Luke Traini

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

RSL (Queensland Branch)

 

NOMINATIONS 

R. Eastgate
J. Strachan  
 

MOTIONS

Discussions with DVA about Private Rooms for Veterans
Incorporating as a Company
Postponing and Authorship of the State Branch Constitution
Independent Forensic Audit

 

Discussions with DVA about Private Rooms for Veterans

Moved By:

Orchid Beach / Fraser Island Sub Branch

“That the Returned & Services League of Australia (Queensland Branch) incorporate as a Company under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).”

Rationale

Currently DVA only funds accommodation for hospital and rehabilitation stays in shared rooms. As we age we become less tolerant, particularly when we are unwell. For most people having to share a room with another person can add stress and can delay the healing process. Limited space is available in a shared bathroom where personal toiletry items can be placed. Having another person within hearing distance when family members, pension and welfare officers and medical staff is not convenient. Private health cover provides patients with single room accommodation and Orchid Beach believe that a Veteran should not be disadvantaged.

 

Incorporating as a Company

Moved By:

Lowood Sub Branch

“That the Returned & Services League of Australia (Queensland Branch) incorporate as a Company under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).”

Rationale

1. RSL Queensland Branch was issued Letters Patent under the former Religious Educational Charitable Institutions Act 1861 (Qld). That act was repealed in 1982.

2. The Associations Incorporation Act 1981 (Qld) was intended for small community clubs. It was not envisaged that clubs or other organisations with large revenues and substantial assets would incorporate under its provisions. When that legislation was introduced into Parliament, it was said that the Religious Educational and Charitable Institutions Act 1861 (Qld) was ‘not good enough administratively to cope with today’s problems’. Lowood Sub Branch agrees with these sentiments.

3. The Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) provides that not-for-profit entities can incorporate. This is the most suitable act under which RSL (Queensland Branch) should incorporate. Similar organisations have incorporated under this act, for example Australian National Heart Foundation, Returned and Services League of Australia (ie National HQ), the Salvation Army, Mates4Mates, St John’s Ambulance Australia (various state bodies).

4. The RSL (Queensland Branch) submission (Submission) in response to the Australian Government “Review of not-for-profit governance arrangements” Consultation Paper dated 8 December 2011 (Consultation Paper), in summary, is as follows:

5. “The legal duties of responsible persons should, as much as possible, mirror the common law and/or Corporations Act to provide certainty and standards for ‘responsible individuals’ (as defined in paragraph 85 of the Consultation Paper) engaged in not-for-profit endeavours. This common law/Corporations Act regime is sufficiently flexible to allow responsible individuals to understand their duties and responsibilities (if the duties and responsibilities are similar to the ‘executive officer’ role under the Corporations Act).”

6. Accordingly, as the RSL QLD submission supported the governance provisions of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and makes reference to these provisions in the latest draft RSL QLD Constitution, there is no reason why RSL QLD should not transition to a company under that Act.

 

Postponing and Authorship of the State Branch Constitution

Moved By:

Lowood Sub Branch

1. “That the drafting of the new RSL Queensland Branch Constitution be postponed until such time as flaws in the National Constitution are rectified.”
2. “That the new RSL Queensland Branch Constitution be written by an independent third party in consultation with member representatives.”

Rationale

1. National President Robert Dick has acknowledged that there are inherent flaws within the system that doesn’t allow for the national body of the RSL to intervene and compel State Branches to act where there are perceived governance and accountability problems. The National President has stated “I think that is a failure in our current national constitution and I believe that we have to sit down and work through those problems at the moment. And these are unprecedented times that we are facing at the moment. And we have to make sure that the action we take now and into the future prevents this from happening again.” RSL Qld has such jurisdiction over Sub Branches and the National Branch should have similar jurisdiction over State Branches. There is little point progressing with a new State Constitution until the problems with the National Constitution are rectified.

2. It appears the conflict of interest whereby each State President has had input into the National Constitution has resulted in the limited powers of the National Board to act or intervene in the business of State Branches. Similarly, the conflict of interest whereby the State Board of Directors/ L&A Committee are charged with writing the new constitution also needs to be mitigated. Clauses contained within the latest draft (Version 5), are deemed NOT to be within the best interests of the membership:

(a). Clause 11.2 - which reads that the State Board may remove a District President/RSL Qld Director from League Membership, because he or she has lost the ‘confidence’ of the State Board. The District President is duly elected by members of their District Branch and it should not be within the remit of the State Board to remove them from League membership just because they have ‘lost the confidence’ of fellow State Board members.

(b). Clause - 24.1 which reads that liability arising out of conduct involving a WILFUL BREACH OF DUTY will be covered by RSL Qld member’s funds to cover legal costs and expenses in defending that WILFUL BREACH OF DUTY.

3. By-Laws should be approved by the Members, not the State Board.

4. The State Board should not be charged with determining their own ‘entitlements’ payments or benefits.

The State Constitution needs to be written to be within the best interests of the members, not the Board of RSL Queensland, and as such should be compiled by an independent, impartial third party.

 

Independent Forensic Audit

Moved By:

Lowood Sub Branch

“That there be an independent forensic audit of the Returned & Services League of Australia (Queensland Branch) for the period 2010 to present.”

Rationale

The initial terms of reference for the investigation period 2010 to present are as follows:
1. To investigate RSL Qld payments relating to the purchase, building, upkeep, renovation, fit out and disposal of buildings from 2010 to present. The scope does not extend to RSL Art Union Lottery expenditure; and
2. To identify the nature and extent of all payments and benefits paid to and received by Directors of RSL Qld Branch in connection with their duties as Directors of RSL Qld; and
3. To identify the nature and extent of all payments and benefits paid to and received by District Presidents by their respective District Branch in connection with their duties as District Presidents; and
4. To identify the nature and extent of all payments made by the RSL Qld Executive (President, Deputy President and Vice President) on RSL Qld credit/corporate cards; and
5. To identify the nature and extent of all travel expenditure (including accommodation, flights, hire car, meals, and alcohol) for RSL Qld Directors, Executive and senior management.

At the end of 2016, it was widely reported to members that RSL Queensland has ‘had an independent forensic audit across every level of RSL Qld expenditure for the past five years’. The State President also stated at a General Meeting of the Moreton District Branch on 3 December 2016 that the ‘independent forensic audit’ had been handed to the Queensland Police Service, who examined the independent forensic audit and determined that there was no fraud in RSL Queensland.

These statements were made in the context of rebutting various allegations of unconscionable financial conduct and had certain connotations to members that RSL Qld was ‘squeaky clean’ with no case to answer. “Independent forensic audit” compliance requirements are outlined within APES 215 – Forensic Accounting Services, the professional code or practice of CPA Australia and Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand.

The Fraud Analytic Study undertaken by Pitcher Partners and mentioned at the 2015 State AGM is not by definition an “independent forensic audit”. Requests to RSL Qld for copies of the scope and findings of the “independent forensic audit” have been unanswered. For transparency and accountability to members an actual forensic audit is required to restore faith in our great organisation.

Important Documents State Congress 2017 Wrap UpQuestion ResponsesState Congress ProgramNominations, Motions & Apologies Breakout WorkshopsRegistration Types & Inclusions2017 State Council of Auxiliaries AGM