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Section 71 applications

A section 71 certificate refers to the relevant section under the Industrial Relations Act 1979 (WA) to which it is issued. A section 71 certificate provides that each office in the State registered organisation or union may be held by the person who, in accordance with the rules of the State organisation's counterpart Federal organisation or union, holds the corresponding office in the Federal organisation.

If a State registered organisation holds a section 71 certificate, it is no longer subject to the election provisions under the Industrial Relations Act 1979 (WA). The organisation is not required to conduct elections of office bearers for the State registered organisation.

Application process and requirements

A registered organisation must file the following two separate applications to the Full Bench in order for a section 71 certificate to be issued by the Registrar:

  1. the rules of the State organisation and its counterpart Federal body relating to the qualification of persons for membership are deemed to be the same; and
  2. for every office in the State organisation, there is a corresponding office in the organisation's counterpart Federal body.

If the office bearer positions in the rules of the State organisation and the state branch of the Federal counterpart organisation do not correspond, this inconsistency must be addressed prior to the section 71 application process. This is achieved by the organisation submitting a rule alteration application to the Registrar (in accordance with section 62 of the Industrial Relations Act 1979 (WA)) seeking to alter the rules of the State organisation to align the office bearer positions with those of the state branch of its Federal counterpart organisation.

Next steps

Once the two required applications have been authorised by the Full Bench, the committee of management of the State organisation must notify the Registrar of the date on which all offices in the State organisation will be filled by persons holding the corresponding office in the State organisation's counterpart Federal body and that the election provisions under the Industrial Relations Act 1979 (WA) no longer apply.

Assistance with section 71 certificate applications

It is strongly recommended organisations seek independent legal advice and consult with the Registrar or Deputy Registrar prior to initiating a section 71 certificate application. The Registrar or Deputy Registrar can provide procedural information to assist the registered organisation to ensure it meets the technical requirements of the requisite Full Bench applications.