Co-operatives National Law Seminar (3CPD Points)

Due to popular demand, together with BAL Lawyers, we are re-running this seminar in Sydney.

Not to be missed, this seminar will answer commonly asked questions such as:

  • What is CNL?
  • What businesses does this legislation apply to?
  • How does it update previous State Acts?

A half-day seminar for legal practitioners, established co-operatives, and groups looking to form co-operative businesses.

The Co-operatives National Law (CNL) is harmonised co-operatives legislation, which has been progressively introduced by all states and territories except Queensland since 2012.

Australian co-operatives can now take advantage of streamlined administrative and reporting requirements and new fundraising options such as Co-operative Capital Units.

Presented by BCCM Associate Member and experienced co-operative advisors BAL Lawyers, this workshop will provide a practical and interactive ‘101’ overview of the CNL, suitable for established co-operatives, lawyers and business consultants, and anyone with an interest in starting or converting to a co-operative.

Empower your co-operative or your co-operative clients to comply with and reap the benefits of the modernised CNL with this rare seminar.

We hope to see you there!

Total run time: 4 hours, including morning tea and light lunch and time for questions and discussion.

Suitable for: co-operative directors, secretaries and managers; lawyers, accountants and other professional business advisors; anyone with an interest in starting or converting to a co-operative.

Topics include:

  • Operating the co-operative: how to call and hold meetings, making changes to the rules, when special resolutions and special postal ballots are required, appointing and removing directors, and terminating membership;
  • Roles and responsibilities of members and directors including directors duties, and governance principles;
  • Co-operative securities: shares, debentures and Co-operative Capital Units (and how to offer them); and
  • Winding up the co-operative: voluntary winding up or de-registration by members.

CPD Points

Continuing professional development (CPD) is a mandatory requirement for all legal practitioners. By attending this seminar, legal practitioners will earn 3 CPD points in Competency Area 4 (Substantive law and procedural law).

Event Details

Date:       6 August 2019

Time:      9:30 am – 1:30 pm

Venue:    University of NSW Campus, 1 O’Connell Street, Sydney

Host:      BCCM Associate Member and experienced co-operative advisors BAL Lawyers


  • BCCM Members and Friends of the BCCM = $155 +GST
  • Non Member Co-operatives, Mutuals and Not for Profits = $205 + GST
  • Legal and Corporate Professionals = $365 + GST

Ticket sales close 6pm, Friday 2 August 2019. Places limited. 

Program at a glance




Melina Morrison, CEO, BCCM

Session One: Operating a Co-operative

Katie Innes, BAL Lawyers

The first session will address the fundamentals for compliance in the operation of a co-operative.

Regular meetings and adequate disclosure are fundamental to members and directors staying informed about the co-operative and the progress towards the co-operative’s goals. In this session you will learn how to call and hold meetings, and the legislative requirements for holding meetings. The rules of the co-operative govern its operation so we will address what decisions of the co-operative require approval of a special resolution, a postal ballot, or a special postal ballot, and how and when those changes will take effect.

All co-operative members must be active members, but there are specific responsibilities imposed on directors for the day to day management of the co-operative so the appointment of the directors can be one of the most powerful decisions that members will make. We will look at the appointment and removal process for directors.

We will also look at the requirements for terminating membership, particularly due to inactive or recalcitrant members and issues of liability.

Session Two: Governance of the Co-operative

Mark Love, BAL Lawyers

The second session will be focused on the rights and responsibilities of the members and the directors; both have a different yet equally important role to play in the ongoing governance of the co-operative.

We will look at the rights, responsibilities and the liabilities of members, including how and when they can vote, what members must do to maintain their active membership, and the financial risks that membership can bring. 

We will also look at the role of the director, the scope of directors duties under the Co-operatives National Law, and their liability to and on behalf of the co-operative.

We will also discuss the application of the Co-operative and Mutual Enterprise Governance Principles recently published by the BCCM.

Session Three: Raising Funds

Mark Love, BAL Lawyers

The third session will be focused on fund raising mechanisms for the ongoing operation of the co-operative including the use of shares, debentures, and co-operative capital units.

We will look at the defining characteristics of each and when each one is appropriate for the co-operative. Critical in this will be interaction of the Co-operatives National Law and Chapter 6D of the Corporations Act. We will also touch on the process for issuing co-operative securities and the rights and liabilities attaching to those, as well as issues of “influence”.

Session Four: Winding Up

Katie Innes, BAL Lawyers

To wind up the day we will address the process for winding up a co-operative. We will look at when the members can voluntarily wind up the co-operative and the process they must go through to do so. We will also look at the situations in which the Registrar can wind up the co-operative under the Co-operatives National Law. And finally, issues of residual liability for membership.

Closing Remarks

Melina Morrison, CEO, BCCM

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