The 31st Annual General Meeting of the PTUA took place on Thursday night, 25 October, at Ross House. The meeting was well attended, with 65 members present. Members present were keen to acknowledge the ongoing work of the PTUA, and the ordinary business of the organisation proceeded without dissent.
The membership passed two resolutions at the meeting, the full wording of which can be found below.
While these resolutions are non-binding, they establish guidelines for what is considered acceptable conduct by committee members with political affiliations. The incoming committee will also be considering more binding changes to the PTUA’s constitution and by-laws in future to avert any attempts at party-political ‘stacking’.
While there were a number of nominations for office bearer and committee positions, many nominees with party-political connections saw fit to withdraw their nominations. As a result the three office bearer positions were uncontested, and there was just one more committee nomination than the number of positions available. After one nominee withdrew his nomination the others were declared elected. (The incoming committee may consider co-option of additional members according to the terms of our Constitution.)
The returned committee details can be found on the PTUA web site.
Following the meeting there was an opportunity for members to discuss PTUA business over food and drinks. Thanks are offered to our volunteers whose work has helped make the PTUA a strong advocate for public transport.
Resolution No. 1
The following resolution was proposed to the membership by member Vaughan Williams, seconded by David Robertson. There being no dissent, it was put to the vote and carried unanimously.
1) Notes that the PTUA Constitution provides that the Association “shall not have any affiliation with, nor financially support, any party political organisation”,
2) Regards the political independence of the PTUA as vital to an informed public debate, and to fair and measured criticism of the government of the day (whether Labor or Coalition), and of the policies of all parties,
3) Acknowledges that many people involved in public interest advocacy also choose to join political parties, and,
4) Values the contributions of numerous PTUA members, past and present, who are or have been members of various political parties.
In the interests of the (perceived and actual) independence of the PTUA, the Association adopts the following guidelines:
1) It will generally be inappropriate for any person who is:
a) An elected official (such as a Member of State or Federal Parliament, or a municipal councillor), or
b) An employee of an elected official (such as an electorate officer or ministerial advisor), or
c) An announced candidate for public office, who is a member of a political party, to be elected to or to hold a position on the PTUA Committee.
2) The guideline in (1) above may be applied more flexibly to independent candidates and to members of small political parties (such as the now defunct Public Transport First party), particularly where the member concerned is not an office bearer or media spokesperson. At all times the interests and independence of the PTUA will guide decisions.
3) If a PTUA Executive member or media spokesperson wishes to stand for election to public office, they will normally be expected to stand down from their position for the duration of the campaign. This guideline may also apply to a committee member, depending on the circumstances.
4) The Association expects that the principal motivation of committee members will be the advancement of the PTUA’s Statement of Purposes.
5) The Association expects that committee members will at all times act in the best interests of the PTUA, and will not allow any conflict between their other interests and those of the PTUA. Committee members must be mindful of the reputational risk to the PTUA at all times.
6) The Association supports the right of members to hold and advocate their own views. However, it expects that committee members will observe PTUA policy when undertaking PTUA business, and when making public comment in any other capacity, will endeavour to avoid publication of any comments likely to result in their private views being conflated with those of the PTUA.
7) These principles are guidelines only, and are not intended to bar any particular member from election to the PTUA Committee. The Association expects the Committee to manage these matters on a case-by-case basis, with all members participating in such discussions in good faith.
Resolution No. 2
The following resolution was proposed to the membership by member Suelette Dreyfus and seconded by Mark Johnson. There being no dissent, it was put to the vote and carried unanimously.
1) Notes with concern the recent reported attempts to ‘stack’ the PTUA for party-political purposes; and
2) Directs the committee to investigate appropriate amendments to the PTUA’s Constitution and by-laws to prevent such attempts from taking place in the future, and to protect and strengthen the PTUA’s political independence.
Resolution No. 3
Member Elaine Hopper moved a vote of thanks to the Committee for its work over the year on behalf of the Association. The motion was seconded by Chris Hooper and carried unanimously.