The UNSW Liberal Club AGM descended into a mob last night with candidates not affiliated with the “hard” right denied speaking and voting rights.
With a crowd of over 250 in the Wurth Room, many were excluded entrance. The meeting ended with security forcibly removing attendees from the building.
“I’m particularly concerned about reports of racial abuse being hurled at some members,” said Tim Kaliyanda, President of the UNSW Student Representative Council (SRC). It was reported that conservative Liberal staffers were overheard referring to some attendees with racial slurs, including calls to “get back on the boat.”
Several relatives and staffers of state MP’s were involved in the fraccas, including the cousin of Castle Hill MP Dominic Perrottet from the “hard” right.
In a meeting chaired by the immediate past-president of the Club, former David Clarke staffer Nik Kaurin, a Returning Officer was appointed in a process Tharunka understands had already been rejected by Arc’s Student Development Committee, which oversees Club affiliation. The Returning Officer declined to accept the nominations of non-incumbent candidates.
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Attendees of the AGM were left bewildered after the meeting descended into what many described as a fraccas. One attendee was verbally and physically assaulted by another. A first year member of the Liberal Club told Tharunka he felt intimidated. “It’s concerning these students could be future leaders,” he said. “There was certainly haste in undermining democratic process.”
Nat Karam, Chair of the Arc Board, declined to comment on these issues, citing the potential for legal action.
It is understood that several members of the Student Development Committee had already been made aware of these issues, and would consider disaffiliation at the next meeting.
UPDATE: Tharunka is now aware that only 10 votes were deemed admissible for each candidate vote, with the Club electing Andrew Collignon as President, Matthew Peverell as Secretary and Mark McGrillen as Treasurer. In an email to Club members, Nik Kaurin alleged that a membership list only available to the President and Arc was used to email a false notice that the AGM was to be cancelled. Kaurin wrote that the Executive is investigating it’s legal position in regards to intellectual property and it’s members privacy.