The following updated COGS Constitution was ratified in October 2022. If you have any questions please contact the committee.
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1 Canberra Organic Growers’ Society Incorporated Constitution FINAL DRAFT 14 JUNE 2022 2 TABLE OF PROVISIONS PART I — PRELIMINARY 1. Interpretation PART II – AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 2. Name 3. Objectives 4. Aims PART III — MEMBERSHIP 5. Membership qualifications 6. Application for membership 7. Fees 8. Membership entitlements not transferable 9. Cessation of membership 10. Members’ liabilities 11. Dispute resolution procedure 12. Disciplining of members 13. Right of appeal of disciplined member PART IV — THE COMMITTEE 14. Powers of the committee 15. Structure of committee 16. Election of committee members 17. Duties of office bearers 18. Vacancies 19. Removal of committee members 20. Committee meetings and quorum 21. Delegation by committee to sub-committee 22. Voting and decisions 23. Out of session decisions 24. Election of community garden committees PART V — GENERAL MEETINGS 25. Annual general meetings 26. General meetings 3 27. Special general meetings 28. Notice 29. General meetings – procedure and quorum 30. Presiding member 31. Adjournment 32. Making of decisions 33. Voting 34. Appointment of proxies PART VI — MISCELLANEOUS 35. Funds – source 36. Funds – management 37. Alteration of objectives and constitution 38. Custody of records 39. Inspection of records 40. Service of notices 41. Dissolution 42. Surplus property 43. Auditor 44. Insurance APPENDIX 1 … FORM OF APPOINTMENT OF PROXY APPENDIX 2 … GENERAL COMMUNITY GARDEN RULES 4 PART I — PRELIMINARY 1. Interpretation (1) In this constitution, unless a contrary intention appears: • “COGS” means the Canberra Organic Growers’ Society Incorporated • “committee” means the COGS’ committee established under Part IV of this constitution • “Financial year” means the year ending on 31 December • “member” means a member, however described, of COGS • “Ordinary committee member” means a member of the committee who is not an office bearer of COGS • “Secretary” means the person holding office under this constitution as the Secretary of COGS • “The Act” means the Associations Incorporation Act 1991 • “The Regulations” means the Associations Incorporation Regulations • “Treasurer” means the person holding office under the constitution as the Treasurer of COGS • “Public officer” means the person nominated is the legal contact point for COGS • “Garden Convenor” means chair of a COGS’ community garden committee. • “Convenors’ Handbook means the material developed by the COGS’ committee to guide the work of garden Convenors. (2) In this constitution: a reference to a function includes a reference to a power, or authority and duty; and a reference to the exercise of a function includes, where the function is a power, authority or duty, a reference to the exercise of the power or authority or the performance of the duty. (3) The provisions of the Legislation Act 2001 apply to and in respect of this constitution in the same manner as those provisions would so apply if this constitution were an instrument made under the Act. PART II — AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 2. Name (1) The name of the Association is the Canberra Organic Growers’ Society Incorporated (hereafter referred to as COGS). 3. Objectives (1) The purpose of COGS is to promote the use of organic gardening methods in the ACT. 4. Aims (1) The aims of COGS are to: (a) provide information on community gardening and demonstrate organic growing techniques for COGS’ members and the wider public (b) provide access to, administer, and support the development of community gardens operated under organic principles; and (c) work with likeminded organisations to increase the sustainability of food production in the ACT. 5 PART III – MEMBERSHIP 5. Membership qualifications (1) A person is qualified to be a member if: (a) the person was a member of COGS when it received its Certificate of Incorporation under the Act and has not ceased to be a member of COGS at any time thereafter; or (b) the person has applied for membership in accordance with sub-rule 6 (1) (2) The committee may provide for classes of membership (3) A member may nominate up to four Associates. Associates can participate in all garden activities but cannot vote in garden or COGS’ elections or be allocated a plot in a COGS’ community garden (4) The committee may award life membership to a member. 6. Application for membership (1) An application for membership of COGS: (a) shall be made by a person in the form adopted by the Committee from time to time; and (b) accompanied by payment of the annual membership fee specified under Rule 7. (2) As soon as is practicable after receiving an application and payment for membership, the Membership Secretary shall enter the applicant’s name in the register of members and, upon the name being so entered, the applicant shall become a member of COGS. (3) At each committee meeting, the Membership Secretary shall table the names of all who have become members since the previous committee meeting. (4) Membership applications shall not be processed in the period from 14 days before the holding of an annual general meeting. (5) Where a person has been expelled from COGS under rule 12 or 13 of this constitution, that person is not eligible to re-apply for membership of COGS for such period as the committee may determine. 7. Fees (1) Membership and other fees shall be determined by the committee. 8. Membership entitlements not transferable (1) A right, privilege or obligation which a person has by reason of being a member of COGS: (a) cannot be transferred to another person; and (b) terminates upon cessation of the person’s membership. 9. Cessation of membership (1) A person ceases to be a member of COGS if the person: (a) resigns from membership of COGS (b) is expelled from COGS; or (c) becomes unfinancial by failing to renew their membership. 10. Members’ liabilities (1) The liability of a member to contribute towards the payment of the debts and liabilities of COGS, or the costs and expenses of the winding up of COGS is limited to the amount, if any, 6 unpaid by the member in respect of membership and other fees of COGS as required by rule 7. 11. Dispute resolution procedure (1) The dispute resolution procedure will be set out in the Convenors’ Handbook to cover disputes between: (a) a member and another member; or (b) a member and COGS. (2) A member may appoint any person to act on their behalf in the dispute resolution procedure. (3) The dispute resolution procedure must ensure that: (a) each party to the dispute has an opportunity to be heard (b) the outcome of the dispute is determined by an independent decision-maker (c) the decision-maker notifies each party in writing, about the decision, and gives reasons for the decision (d) to the extent that doing so is compatible with sub-rules (a) to (c), the procedure is completed as soon as is reasonably practicable; and (e) includes an appeal process. (4) If the dispute is between a member and COGS, COGS must not take disciplinary action against any of the following in relation to this matter until the procedure has been completed: (a) the member who initiated the dispute resolution procedure, or (b) a member of COGS appointed by the complainant under sub-rule (2) to act on behalf of the complainant. 12. Disciplining of members (1) If after the dispute resolution procedures have been exhausted the committee is of the opinion that a member: (a) has persistently refused or neglected to comply with a provision of this constitution or its appendices, including community garden rules; or (b) has persistently and wilfully acted in a manner prejudicial to the interests of COGS, the committee may, by resolution: (i) expel the member from COGS; or (ii) suspend the member from such rights and privileges of membership of COGS (including membership of any COGS’ community gardens) as the committee may determine for a specified period. (2) A resolution of the committee under sub-rule (1) has no effect unless the committee, at a meeting held not earlier than 14 days and not later than 35 days after service on the member of a notice under sub-rule (3), confirms the resolution in accordance with this rule. (3) Where the committee passes a resolution under sub-rule (1), the Secretary shall, as soon as practicable, write to the member: (a) setting out the committee’s resolution and the grounds on which it is based (b) stating that the member and/or their representative may address the committee at a meeting to be held not earlier than 14 days and not later than 35 days after service of the notice (c) stating the date, place, and time of that meeting; and 7 (d) informing the member that the member may: (i) attend and speak at that meeting, and or (ii) submit to the committee at or prior to the meeting, written representations relating to the resolution. (4) Subject to Section 50 of the Act, at a meeting of the committee mentioned in sub-rule (2), the committee shall: (a) give the member mentioned in sub-rule (1) an opportunity to make oral representations (b) give due consideration to written representations submitted to the committee by that member at or prior to the meeting; and (c) by resolution determine whether to confirm or to revoke the resolution of the committee made under sub-rule (1). (5) Where the committee confirms a resolution under sub-rule (4), the Secretary shall, within seven days, inform the member in writing of that confirmation and of their right of appeal under rule 13. (6) A resolution confirmed by the committee under sub-rule (4) does not take effect: (a) until the end of the appeal period where the member does not exercise the right of appeal within that period; or (b) where within that period the member exercises the right of appeal, unless and until COGS confirms the resolution in accordance with sub-rule 13 (4). 13. Right of appeal of disciplined member (1) A member may appeal to COGS in general meeting against a resolution of the committee which has been confirmed under sub-rule 12 (4), within seven days after notice of the resolution is served on the member, by lodging a notice to that effect with the Secretary. (2) Upon receipt of a notice under sub-rule (1), the Secretary shall notify the committee which shall convene a general meeting of COGS to be held within 21 days after the date on which the Secretary received the notice or as soon as possible after that date. (3) Subject to Section 50 of the Act, at a general meeting of COGS convened under sub-rule (2): (a) the question of the appeal is the only business to be transacted (b) the committee and the member and/or their representative shall be given the opportunity to make representations in relation to the appeal orally, in writing, or both; and (c) members present shall vote by secret ballot on whether the resolution made under sub-rule 12 (4) should be confirmed or revoked. (4) If the meeting passes a special resolution confirming the resolution made under sub-rule 12 (4), that resolution is confirmed. 8 PART IV — THE COMMITTEE 14. Powers of the committee (1) The committee, subject to the Act, the Regulations, this constitution, and to any resolution passed by COGS in general meeting: (a) controls and manages the affairs of COGS in accordance with its aims and objectives (b) may exercise all such functions as may be exercised by COGS other than those required by this constitution to be exercised by COGS in general meeting; and (c) has power to do what appears necessary or desirable to the committee for the management of COGS’ affairs. 15. Structure of the committee (1) The committee shall consist of: (a) the office bearers of COGS; and (b) no more than four ordinary committee members; each of whom shall be elected pursuant to rule 16 or appointed in accordance with sub-rule (4). (2) The office-bearers of COGS shall be: (a) the President (b) the Vice President (c) the Treasurer (d) the Secretary (e) the Membership Secretary (f) the Community Gardens Coordinator (g) the Magazine Editor; and (h) the Information Officer. (3) Each member of the committee shall, subject to this constitution, hold office until the conclusion of the annual general meeting following the date of the members’ election, and is eligible for re-election. (4) If there is a vacancy in the committee’s membership, the committee may appoint a member of COGS to fill the vacancy and the member so appointed shall hold office, subject to this constitution, until the conclusion of the next annual general meeting. (5) No committee member shall be appointed to any salaried office of COGS, or any office of COGS paid by fees and no remuneration or other benefit in money or kind shall be given by COGS to any committee member except as reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses. 16. Election of committee members (1) Nominations of candidates for election as office bearers, or ordinary committee members of COGS shall be made in writing, signed by two members of COGS, and accompanied by the written consent of the candidate (which may be endorsed on the nomination form). (2) If insufficient nominations are received to fill all vacancies on the committee, the candidates nominated shall be deemed to be elected. (3) If insufficient further nominations are received, any vacant positions remaining on the committee shall be deemed to be vacancies. 9 (4) If the number of nominations received is equal to the number of vacancies, the persons nominated shall be taken to be elected. (5) If the number of nominations received exceeds the number of vacancies, a ballot shall be held. (6) The ballot for the election of office bearers and ordinary committee members shall be conducted at the annual general meeting in such a manner as the committee may direct. (7) A person is not eligible to hold more than one committee position simultaneously, except: (a) the position of Public Officer; and (b) the position of Membership Secretary, which can be held by the Treasurer. (8) A person may hold the position of President for no more than three successive terms. They may seek re-election to the position of President after a period of no less than 12 months since they last held the office. When a Past President is ineligible to hold the office of President, they may hold any other office or be an ordinary committee member. (9) The committee shall select a person to occupy the position of Public Officer from the committee members elected at the annual general meeting. 17. Duties of office bearers (1) The Secretary must keep minutes of: (a) all elections and appointments of office bearers and ordinary committee members; and (b) the names of members of the committee present at a committee or a general meeting; and (c) all proceedings at committee meetings and general meetings. (2) The Treasurer must collect and receive all amounts owing to COGS, make all payments authorised by COGS; and keep correct accounts showing the financial affairs of COGS with details of all receipts and expenditure connected with COGS’ activities. 18. Vacancies (1) A vacancy in the committee occurs if the member: (a) dies (b) ceases to be a member of COGS (c) resigns the office (d) is removed from office under rule 19 (e) becomes bankrupt (f) is unable to perform the duties of a committee member (g) is disqualified from office under Subsection 63 (1) of the Act; or (h) is absent without the consent of the committee from all committee meetings held during a period of six months. 19. Removal of committee members (1) COGS in a general meeting may by resolution, subject to Section 50 of the Act, remove any member of the committee from the office of member of the committee before the expiration of the member’s term of office. 10 20. Committee meetings and quorum (1) The committee shall meet at least three times in each calendar year at such times and places or modes specified by the committee. (2) Additional meetings of the committee may be convened by any member of the committee. (3) Notice of a meeting of the committee shall be given by the Secretary to each member of the committee and garden convenors at least 48 hours (or such other period as may be unanimously agreed upon by the members of the committee) before the time appointed for the holding of the meeting. (4) Notice of a meeting given under sub-rule (3) shall specify the general nature of the business to be transacted and no other business shall be transacted at the meeting, except business which the committee members present at the meeting unanimously agree to treat as urgent business. (5) Any five members of the committee of which three are office bearers constitutes a quorum for the transaction of the business of a meeting of the committee. (6) No business shall be transacted by the committee unless a quorum is present, and if within half an hour after the time appointed for the meeting a quorum is not present, the meeting is adjourned to the following week. (7) If a quorum is not present at the adjourned meeting within half an hour of the appointed meeting time, the meeting shall be dissolved. (8) At meetings of the committee: (a) the President or in the absence of the President, the Vice President shall preside; or (b) if the President and Vice President are absent, another member of the committee may be chosen by members present to preside. 21. Delegation by committee to sub-committee (1) The committee may, by instrument in writing, delegate to one or more sub-committees (consisting of such member or members of COGS as the committee thinks fit) the exercise of the functions of the committee as are specified in the instrument, other than: (a) this power of delegation; and (b) a function which is imposed on the committee by the Act, by any other law of the Territory, or by resolution of COGS in general meeting. (2) A function, the exercise of which has been delegated to a sub-committee under this rule may, while the delegation remains unrevoked, be exercised from time to time by the sub-committee in accordance with the terms of the delegation. (3) A delegation under this rule may be made subject to such conditions or limitations as to the exercise of any function, or as to time or circumstances, as may be specified in the instrument of delegation. (4) Notwithstanding any delegation under this rule, the committee may continue to exercise any function delegated. (5) Any act or thing done or suffered by a sub-committee acting in the exercise of a delegation under this rule has the same force and effect as it would have if it had been done or suffered by the committee. (6) The committee may in writing, revoke wholly or in part any delegation under this rule. (7) A sub-committee may meet and adjourn as it considers appropriate. 11 22. Voting and decisions (1) The views of garden convenors will be considered by the committee on matters concerning garden finances and garden operating policy. (2) Questions arising at a meeting of the committee or sub-committee appointed by the committee shall be determined by a majority of votes of members of the committee or sub-committee present at the meeting. (3) Each committee member present at a meeting of the committee or of any sub-committee appointed by the committee (including the person presiding) is entitled to one vote. In the event of an equality of votes on any question, the person presiding may exercise a second or casting vote. (4) Notwithstanding if the garden convenor is a COGS’ committee member, this person will be entitled to only one vote unless they are the person presiding. 23. Out of session decisions (1) A resolution in writing approved by at least a quorum of committee members as defined in Rule 20 (5), shall be as valid as if it had been passed at a meeting of the committee duly called and constituted if notice of the resolution has been provided to all members of the committee. (2) The approval of a resolution in writing may be evidenced by a single document or several documents signed by members or by emails originating from members, or a combination of these forms of approval for the resolution. All such documents must be retained in COGS’ records. 24. Election of community garden committees (1) COGS’ garden committees shall be elected annually in September by the members of COGS who are plot holders in that garden on the date of the election. A quorum will be the lesser of 10 plot holders or 30 percent of garden members. (2) The garden committee in each garden is a sub-committee of COGS as defined in rule 21. (3) The COGS’ committee delegates the daily administration of each community garden operating under its auspices to the garden committee in that garden, including expenditure up to a certain limit approved by the COGS’ committee. (4) Each garden committee may establish garden rules in addition to the General Garden Rules (Appendix 2) for the operation and use of that garden by members of COGS. The committee will provide its additional rules to the Secretary for endorsement by the COGS’ committee. (5) Members must comply with the general community garden rules at Appendix 2, and the additional community garden rules set under sub-rule (4) or be liable to disciplinary action under rule 11 of this constitution. (6) The COGS’ committee shall resume the administration of a community garden if any of the following apply: (a) the garden members are unable to elect a garden convenor (b) the garden committee requests the COGS’ committee to take over the administration of the garden; or (c) the COGS’ committee determines that a garden committee has persistently administered the garden in a manner inconsistent with this constitution and its appendices, including the Code of Ethics at Appendix 2. 12 PART V — GENERAL MEETINGS 25. Annual general meetings (1) The annual general meeting of COGS shall, subject to the Act, be convened in March each year on such date and at such place or mode and time as the committee thinks fit. (2) In addition to any other business which may be transacted at an annual general meeting, the business of an annual general meeting shall be: (a) to confirm the minutes of the last annual general meeting and any general or special general meeting held since that meeting (b) to receive from the committee reports on the activities of COGS during the last financial year (c) to elect members of the committee, including office bearers; and (d) to receive and consider the audited statement of accounts and the auditor’s and committee reports required to be submitted to members under Subsection 73(1) of the Act, and to appoint the auditor. (3) An annual general meeting shall be specified as such in the notice convening it in accordance with rule 28. (4) An annual general meeting shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of this Part. 26. General meetings (1) General meetings will be convened on such dates and times, using modes and at such frequency, as determined by the committee or determined at each annual general meeting. 27. Special general meetings (1) The committee shall, on receipt in writing from not less than five per cent of the total number of members, convene a general meeting of COGS. (2) A formal request from members for a special general meeting: (a) shall state the purpose(s) of the meeting (b) shall be signed by the members making the request (c) shall be lodged with the Secretary; and (d) may consist of several documents in similar form, each signed by one or more of the members making the request. (3) If the committee fails to convene a special general meeting within one month after the date on which a request from members for the meeting is lodged with the Secretary, any one or more of the members who made the request may convene a general meeting to be held no later than three months after that date. (4) A special general meeting convened by a member or members referred to in sub-rule (3) shall be convened in the same manner as general meetings are convened by the committee, and members who incur expenses are entitled to be reimbursed by COGS for any reasonable expense. 28. Notice (1) Except where the nature of the business proposed to be dealt with at a general meeting requires a special resolution of COGS, the Secretary shall ensure that the place, date, mode, 13 and time of the meeting is served by email or post to the members’ email or address shown in the register of members. (2) Where the nature of the business proposed to be dealt with at a general meeting requires a special resolution of COGS, the Secretary shall notify each member of the intention to propose the resolution as a special resolution. (3) No business other than that specified in the notice convening a general meeting shall be transacted at the meeting except, in the case of an annual general meeting, business which may be transacted pursuant to sub-rule 25 (2). (4) A member desiring to bring any business before a general meeting may give notice in writing of that business to the Secretary who shall include that business in the next notice calling a general meeting after receipt of the notice from the member. 29. General meetings – procedure and quorum (1) No item of business shall be transacted at a general meeting unless a quorum of members entitled under these rules to vote is present when the meeting is considering that item. (2) Twenty members entitled under these rules to vote at a general meeting present in person constitute a quorum for the transaction of the business of a general meeting. (3) If within half an hour after the appointed time for the commencement of a general meeting a quorum is not present, the meeting shall stand adjourned to the same day in the following week at the same time, and (unless another place is specified at the time of adjournment by the person presiding at the meeting or communicated by written notice to members given before the day to which the meeting is adjourned) at the same place. (4) If at the adjourned meeting a quorum is not present within half an hour after the time appointed for the commencement of the meeting, the members present (being not less than 10) shall constitute a quorum. (5) In the case of a special general meeting, if within half an hour after the appointed time for the meeting a quorum is not present, the meeting shall be dissolved. 30. Presiding member (1) The President, or in the absence of the President, the Vice President, shall preside at each general meeting of COGS. (2) If the President and the Vice President are absent from a general meeting, the members present shall elect one of their number to preside at the meeting. 31. Adjournment (1) The person presiding at a general meeting at which a quorum is present may, with the consent of a majority of members present, adjourn the meeting from time to time and place to place, but no business shall be transacted at an adjourned meeting other than the business left unfinished at the meeting at which the adjournment took place. (2) Where a general meeting is adjourned for 14 days or more, the Secretary shall give written notice of the adjourned meeting to each member, stating the place, date and time of the meeting, and the nature of the business to be transacted at the meeting. 14 32. Making of decisions (1) A question arising at a general meeting of COGS shall be determined on a show of hands and, unless before or on the declaration of the show of hands a poll is demanded, a declaration by the person presiding that a resolution has, on a show of hands, been carried or carried unanimously or carried by a particular majority or lost, or an entry to that effect in the COGS’ minutes, is evidence of the fact without proof of the number or proportion of the votes recorded in favour of or against that resolution. (2) At a general meeting of COGS, a poll may be demanded by the person presiding or by not less than 10 members present in person or by proxy at the meeting. (3) Where the poll is demanded at a general meeting, the poll shall be taken: (a) immediately in the case of a poll which relates to the election of the person to preside at the meeting or to the question of an adjournment; or (b) in any other case, in such manner and at such time before the close of the meeting as the person presiding directs, and the resolution of the poll on the matter shall be deemed to be the resolution of the meeting on that matter. 33. Voting (1) Subject to sub-rule (3), upon any question arising at a general meeting of COGS a member has one vote only. (2) All votes shall be given personally or by proxy. (3) In the case of an equality of votes on a question at a general meeting, the person presiding is entitled to exercise a second or casting vote. (4) A member or proxy is not entitled to vote at any general meeting of COGS unless all money due and payable by the member or proxy to COGS has been paid. 34. Appointment of proxies (1) Each member shall be entitled to appoint another member as proxy by notice given to the Secretary before the time of the meeting in respect of which the proxy is appointed. (2) The notice appointing the proxy shall be in the form set out in Appendix 1 to this constitution. (3) No member may hold more than two proxies. PART VI — MISCELLANEOUS 35. Funds – source (1) The funds of COGS shall be derived from membership and plot fees, donations and, subject to any resolution passed by COGS in general meeting and subject to Section 114 of the Act, such other sources as the committee determines. (2) All money received by COGS shall be deposited as soon as practicable and without deduction to the credit of COGS’ bank account. (3) The Treasurer, or other authorised committee member(s), shall issue a receipt, after receiving money for COGS if requested. (4) A bank record of an electronic transfer of funds to a COGS’ account shall be considered a receipt. 15 36. Funds – management (1) Subject to any resolution passed by COGS in general meeting, the funds of COGS shall be used in pursuance of the objectives of COGS in such manner as the committee determines. (2) All proposed payments are to be considered at committee meetings and details of approvals to expend COGS funds shall be minuted. The committee may approve regular or predictable payments in advance to allow prompt payment of bills. (3) Convenors may spend up to an amount determined by the committee and then seek to have the funds reimbursed. Expenditure above this amount requires the committee’s prior approval. (4) All electronic transfers and any other payments shall be signed by any two office bearers. 37. Alteration of objectives and constitution (1) Neither the objectives of COGS nor this constitution shall be altered except in accordance with the Act. 38. Custody of records (1) Subject to the Act, the Regulations and this constitution, the Secretary shall keep in his or her custody or under his or her control all records relating to COGS. 39. Inspection of records (1) COGS’ records are open to inspection at a place in the Territory, free of charge, by a member at any reasonable hour. (2) Inspection of the membership register is limited to the names of members. Additional information held on the register can only be provided with the agreement of the member. 40. Service of notices (1) For this constitution, a notice may be served by or on behalf of COGS upon any member by sending it to the member’s postal or email address shown in the register of members. 41. Dissolution (1) Winding up or dissolution of COGS shall be in accordance with Part VII of the Act. 42. Surplus property (1) If COGS is wound up or dissolved, all assets will be transferred in accordance with the Act to another organisation or organisations with similar objectives and purposes and rules prohibiting the distribution of its assets and income to members. 43. Auditor (1) A suitable person, who is not a committee member, will be appointed Auditor for the following year at the annual general meeting. 44. Insurance (1) COGS is to insure and keep itself insured against the following classes of risk: (a) voluntary workers’ personal accident (b) public liability; and 16 (c) such other risks including workers’ compensation as the committee from time to time may consider necessary. 17 APPENDIX 1 CANBERRA ORGANIC GROWERS’ SOCIETY INCORPORATED FORM OF APPOINTMENT OF PROXY I, ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. (full name) of ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. (address) being a member of the Canberra Organic Growers’ Society Incorporated (COGS) hereby appoint ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. (full name of proxy) of ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. (address) being a member of COGS, as my proxy to vote for me on my behalf at the general meeting of COGS (annual general meeting or other general meeting, as the case may be) to be held on the ……………………day of…………..……..year …….…., and at any adjournment of that meeting. 18 * My proxy is authorised to vote in favour of/against (delete as appropriate) the resolution ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… (insert details). ……… ……………………………. Date……/…../….. (Signature of member appointing proxy) NOTE: A proxy vote may not be given to a person who is not a member of COGS. *(To be inserted if desired.) 19 APPENDIX 2 CANBERRA ORGANIC GROWERS’ SOCIETY INCORPORATED GENERAL COMMUNITY GARDEN RULES Code of Ethics: It is the intention of COGS that its community gardens will demonstrate the practical application of organic gardening principles and be an example of community cooperation. Garden committees are to administer the gardens to promote a spirit of harmony, fairmindedness and goodwill amongst garden members. Plot holders are to: • conduct themselves in a spirit of harmony, fairmindedness, and goodwill • be mindful that COGS’ gardens are located on public land which is made available for their private use • keep in mind the impact of their decisions and actions on fellow gardeners; and • ensure their plots are in an improved organic condition when they leave. General Rules: The rules set out below apply to COGS’ community gardens. Garden committees may make additional rules to address local conditions. Additional rules must be submitted to COGS’ Secretary for committee endorsement. Organic principles 1. Organic gardening principles must always be complied with in the community gardens. Non-organic pesticides, herbicides or inorganic fertilisers are not to be used. 2. The organic principles for COGS’ gardens draw on the National Standard for Organic and Bio-Dynamic Produce (edition 3.7 September 2016); recommendations for allowable inputs are set out on the COGS’ website. Garden members 3. Garden members must be financial members of COGS. 4. A COGS’ member may be allocated a plot in one garden at a time. 5. Garden members must not interfere with other plots or other members’ property. 6. Garden members may not remove COGS’ property from any garden without the permission of the garden committee. 7. Garden members are responsible for the actions of Associate Members linked to their membership, their children, pets, and guests. 20 8. Garden members shall not grow produce for commercial sale or engage in other commercial activities at the garden. 9. All garden members must abide by rules relating to watering issued by ICON Water or the COGS’ committee and all relevant ACT laws. 10. Damage to garden equipment must be reported immediately to the Convenor or a garden committee member. 11. Garden members must inform the Convenor when plots are no longer required and ensure that their gate key (if used) is returned. 12. Plots cannot be transferred between members. 13. It is the responsibility of a gardener to let the Convenor know if they expect to be away or unable to work their plot for health or other reasons for more than two months. 14. Fires for burning rubbish are not permitted. Cooking fires are permitted within a designated firepit area and must be conducted in accordance with relevant warnings and fire bans. 15. Livestock of any kind, including poultry, cannot be kept in a COGS’ garden. 16. Beehives belonging to a registered beekeeper may be kept in a garden with unanimous agreement of garden members. The hives remain the responsibility of the beekeeper. 17. Permanent structures are not permitted on plots. Portable lockers for equipment storage not exceeding 1.5m width, 1m depth and 0.5m in height are allowed. 18. Camping and vehicle or trailer storage is not permitted in COGS’ gardens. Materials not specifically related to garden activities cannot be stored in COGS’ gardens. 19. It is the responsibility of the last plot holder leaving a garden to lock gates and sheds and turn off the water, regardless of whether the plot holder opened them or turned on the water. Convenors and garden committees 20. The members of each garden must elect a garden Convenor (chair) and a garden committee in accordance with Part IV of the constitution. The names of these people and the positions to which they have been elected must be given to the Community Garden Coordinator within 14 days of the election. 21. The garden committee is responsible for plot allocation and keeping a register of plot holders, a list of vacant plots and a listing of applicants for plots, and for the safe keeping and allocation of garden keys if keys are used. 22. Additional local garden rules will cover the operation of the garden and may include such matters as: • access of dogs and cats to community gardens • maximum size of plot holdings • disposal of weeds and rubbish • cultivation of canes and other invasive species, including prohibition of specific plants • maintenance, including working bees, and emergency procedures; and • use, cleaning, repair, and replacement of garden equipment. Disputes and infringements of rules 23. Garden Convenors should act as mediator in resolving disputes between gardeners in line with the dispute resolution process set out in the Convenors’ handbook. 24. Infringements of the garden rules should in the first instance be dealt with by the garden committee in line with the dispute resolution process set out in the Convenors’ handbook. If 21 unresolved, these should be brought to the attention of the COGS’ committee by the garden convenor for resolution. Unkempt and abandoned plots 25. The holder of a plot which in the reasonable opinion of the garden committee, has been overgrown or neglected for two months or more, may be given notice by the garden Convenor by post or email that the condition of the plot must be rectified within 30 days of receipt of the notice to the standard of a reasonably well-maintained plot. If the plot has not been rectified to that standard within 30 days, it may be resumed by written notice from the garden Convenor to the plot holder. Plot fees will not be refunded. 26. Any plot which in the reasonable opinion of the garden committee has been abandoned, may be resumed by the committee by giving written notice to the plot holder at their last known email or postal address. Resumption will take effect upon the giving of the notice.