In summary, we submit the following:
- Changes are needed to current legislative provisions regarding eligibility for election to the management committee because the current provisions:
- Are arbitrary;
- Are discriminatory;
- Disproportionately impact already marginalised groups, namely people incarcerated as children, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and women; and
- Deprive management committees of expertise and experience.
The preferred option is Option 4, that is, all periods of disqualification for persons convicted of offences should be removed.
Option 2 is not the preferred option because the negative aspects of the current provisions remain (granted, at a reduced level).
The arguments presented in the consultation paper in favour of Option 2 logically make Option 4 the best option, because it achieves these aims to a greater extent. These aims being:
- Increased association freedom; and
- A move away from restrictions that are 'severe' and 'out of touch with other jurisdictions'.
The arguments against Option 4 are weakened by a lack of empirical evidence and by placing undue weight on 'community perception' without meaningfully quantifying this perception.
Option 4 is also a suitable choice considering the range of association types and sizes.
In essence, associations have the means of self-regulating eligibility to their own management committees. It is in an association's self-interest to utilise to the full extent possible, the expertise of their membership base and minimise risk to the association by excluding unsuitable people from the management committee.