This page will outline the advantages, disadvantages or otherwise, of incorporating the Western Australian FreeNet.
If you feel so inclinded to edit these pages please do so and leave you name on the parts you edit, if you don't feel like it, pm wargus on irc.
What is incorporation?
"Incorporation is a system of State Government or Territory registration that gives an association or community groups certain legal advantages in return for accepting certain legal responsibilities. An incorporated association receives recognition as a legal entity separate from its members and offers some protection for office holders from any debts or liabilities incurred by the group as long as the association doesn't make a profit for its members."
Incorporation is voluntary. Once incorporated groups have to abide by relevant legislation.
Why incorporate WAFN, I here you say...
The answer is simple, or in a few words: reduced liability and increased autonomy. At the moment the WAFN relies on the work of key individuals who can only operate in their own name. Incorporation, aside from granting these people reduced liability, also means that the WAFN can levy membership fees, fund-raise and operate in it's own name. The money that membership fees generate can be plowed into replacing or buying equipment or even reimbursing fuel costs for active members. Rather than relying on its members associations with groups (such as WARG) the WAFN will be able to enter into agreements with other organisations in its own right. WAFN can have its own bank account and own property (antennas, masts and so on).
Additionally, it means that the work load of running the WAFN can be more equitably shared between willing members who can be appointed to sub-committees such as (network maintainable & expansion, finance and planning, secretariat, etc.). These individuals or sub-committees can be given budgets to carry out the work of maintaining the FreeNet. They would have the responsibility of keeping recepits and reporting back to the executive committee on their actions.
How much will it cost?
A complete schedule of fees is available here.
Basically it will cost $132 to apply, plus the costs of having a common seal made (a rubber stamp) and the cost to advertise our intent to incorporate in the West Australian newspaper.
Key things to discuss: