Introduction

The Federal Court has ordered that an administrator be appointed to reconstitute the UFU QLD branch. Contact the administrator via ufuaqueenslandbranch2022@gmail.com

The administrator is in the process of settling the electoral roll to conduct fresh elections, taking into account matters raised by the Federal Court including:

  • Members of the UFUQ who joined before 3 September 2018 automatically became members of the UFU Queensland Branch when they joined.
  • Any person joining the Branch after 24 February 2022 (the date of the Federal Court Order) shall be placed on the list of members.

Significant Decision

24 February 2022

Federal Court declares UFUA Queensland Branch has ceased to function effectively

Link to decision: https://www.ufua.asn.au/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/UFUA-v-UFUQ-2022-FCA-145.pdf

In 2020, following numerous attempts on the part of the UFUA to engage with the UFUA Queensland Branch, the United Firefighters Union of Australia (UFUA) filed Applications

to the Federal Court with respect to the UFUA Queensland Branch.

The UFUA Applications, in part, sought orders to appoint an administrator to reconstitute the UFUA Queensland Branch. The UFUA contended that the UFUA Queensland Branch had ceased to function effectively as a result of the disenfranchisement of Branch members. Following a trial, inclusive of cross-examination of witnesses for both sides, Justice Abraham of the Federal Court of Australia handed down her Decision with respect to the Queensland Branch.

In a decision handed down on 24 February 2022, Her Honour declared that the UFUA Queensland Branch has ceased to function effectively.

In addition, Her Honour found:

  • That the 4 members that sought declarations under s 167 of the Fair Work (RO) Act have been members of the UFU of A from the date on which they joined.
  • That the UFUA Queensland Branch did not establish any proper basis for why the declaration of member should not reflect that the members have been members since joining, and that their membership is continuous.
  • That there was no dispute that the UFUA Queensland Branch has ceased to function effectively – it was not functioning at all.

Abraham J made the Orders sought under s 323, reflecting the UFU of A’s proposed scheme for the administration of the UFUA Queensland Branch.

An administrator has now been appointed by the Court and their task is to “resuscitate” the Branch, and to conduct elections which are to be completed by 23 August 2022.

This Federal Court decision is a significant one for the UFUA and all members.

The UFUA strongly encourages members to read the Decision, which can be accessed at this link: https://www.ufua.asn.au/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/UFUA-v-UFUQ-2022-FCA-145.pdf

Authorised by National Secretary Greg McConville

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