Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission

Applications Related to Industrial Organisation Matters


The Industrial Relations Act 1979 (the Act) recognises industrial organisations and associations as representatives of either employers or employees. This includes both organisations of employees (more commonly referred to as unions) and organisations of employers (more commonly referred to as employer associations). Associations under the Act refer to a body which is formed by two or more organisations.

Division 4 - Industrial organisations and associations (s 52 to 80) of the Act regulates how registered organisations operate, and identifies specific compliance requirements. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • how organisations are registered;
  • how they may alter their registered rules and/or name;
  • the information they are required to provide to the Registrar in relation to membership numbers, office bearers and financial reports; and
  • how they must conduct elections for office bearers.

Complaints by Members of Registered Organisations

Section 66 of the Act provides an avenue for:

  • a person who is or has been a member of an organisation; or
  • a person who has applied for and not been admitted to membership in an organisation; or
  • the Registrar acting on the complaint of or on behalf of a person referred to in paragraph (a); or of his own motion,

to make an application to the President (sitting alone) for orders and/or directions relating to the rules of the organisation and their observance, non-observance or the manner of their observance. The President has the authority to determine whether an organisation has breached its rules in this regard.

The President may also declare a true interpretation of any rule, and enquire into any election for an office in the organisation in circumstances where it is alleged that there is an irregularity in the election process.

In addition, the President has the authority to determine whether particular rules should be disallowed in circumstances where any rule is:

  • inconsistent with any act, law or State industrial instrument; or
  • is tyrannical or oppressive; or
  • prevents or hinders any member of an organisation from observing any act, law or State industrial instrument; or
  • imposes unreasonable conditions on a member or members; or
  • is inconsistent with the democratic control of the organisation by its members.

Applications made pursuant to s.66 of the Act are to be filed on a Form 1 - Notice of application (general) (Form 1), with grounds in support of the application attached. In these applications the individual(s) are the applicant(s) and the organisation is the respondent.

The application must state the correct name of the registered organisation, in full. The address and telephone number of each party must also be provided on the Form 1. A list of all registered organisations, along with the registered rules of each organisation is available on the Commission’s website, here.

The grounds in support of the application should state whether you are a current member of the organisation, a previous member, or a person who has been denied membership.

The grounds should also state which particular rule(s) of the organisation that you allege have not been complied with and a brief summary of the facts, as you perceive them, which have led to the breach, non-compliance or inappropriate action.

Further, the grounds must specify the remedy you are seeking. For example, you may seek an order from the President that a specific rule or rules be disallowed, or that the Secretary of the organisation be directed to undertake a certain course of action.

Unlike other applications, you will not receive your service copy back immediately. Once filed, the application will be forwarded to the President's Chambers to be endorsed with procedural directions.

The directions will ordinarily include the date and time by which the application is to be served on the respondent, when a Form 4 is to be filed by, and a date for a directions hearing. The directions may also include a requirement to swear an affidavit setting out the facts which support the application, and information for the respondent about how they may respond to the application.

The President’s Associate will notify you when the endorsed application is available to be collected from the Registry. You will then need to serve the application with the endorsed procedural directions and hearing date upon the respondent.

The purpose of a directions hearing is to establish whether there are any preliminary issues which need to be dealt with and whether any documentation relevant to the application is sought to be discovered from any of the parties. A date for the hearing of the application will be set during the directions hearing.

Contact Us

Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission
17th Floor
111 St Georges Terrace

Phone : (08) 9420 4444
Facsimile : (08) 9420 4500
Free Call : 1800 624 263

Free Fax :1800 804 987

Email : mail reg


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