The 2012 Annual General Meeting of the UNSW Liberal Club was cancelled this Monday evening, the 16th of April.
The President of the UNSW Liberal Club Nick Kaurin, on the advice of Student Development Committee Convenor Chris Antonini, informed Liberal Club members that the meeting had to be cancelled due to Occupational Health and Safety Regulations where the number of attendees was in excess of the maximum occupancy of the ASB room.
Tharunka estimates that there were between 100-150 members in attendance at the meeting where a new executive was to be elected. This represents a huge increase in the numbers who attended the 2011 AGM, which Tharunka understands was approximately 20 individuals.
There were rumours that the increased numbers were directly related to a push by Liberal members aligned to Federal MP Alex Hawke to take control of the Liberal Club, wresting power from hard right forces close to state upper house member David Clarke.
A similar attempted takeover occurred in 2011 at the University of Sydney, when the AGM of the Sydney University Liberal Club was similarly postponed due to allegations of factional stacking.
Candidate for Activities Officer, Lara Jeffrey said “This is a terrible outcome for Liberal-leaning students. We need activity on campus, which the current executive is doing its best to stamp out.”
This recent attempt is the second time the Liberal Club has unsuccessfully attempted to hold an Annual General Meeting. In 2011, its AGM was invalidated for passing anti-democratic constitutional changes. Last year it also was officially warned by Student Development for allegedly not adding members who signed up to the Club during O-Week to its database or including them in the club’s official activities on factional grounds.
The UNSW Liberal Club is currently classified as being in ‘application.’ Nick Kaurin remains its President and has advised Tharunka that the meeting is being rescheduled for a larger location.
Meanwhile, SDC Convenor Christopher Antonini informed Tharunka that the AGM is overdue. The Liberal Club must therefore hold its AGM immediately or risk being expired and no longer be affiliated with Arc.