Watch The Throne: Scott aims to block Pace from taking Board vacancy
Words by Tom Haskell
AUU President Brodie Scott and SRC President Mark Pace have knocked heads over a casual vacancy on the AUU Board. The dispute relates to a vacancy on the Board following the resignation of Iran Sanadzadeh. Scott was attempting to prevent Pace from filling the vacancy left by Sanadzadeh when members of the left-wing bloc left the meeting in order to prevent quorum from being met.
Pursuant to clause 10.1 of the AUU Constitution, Mark Pace is next in line to take the vacancy with Charlie Wenk shortly behind him. Despite this, Scott is attempting to keep the vacancy unfilled citing concerns over Pace’s ability to juggle the roles of Board Director and SRC President.
“In reviewing the extent to which the Student Representative Council fulfilled KPIs in 2016, the AUU Board has good reason be concerned about the ongoing ability of the SRC to manage its expected workload [including] reports to the AUU Board, attendance at university committees and achieving quorum at meetings…It therefore seems obvious that adding an extra considerably large workload to the SRC President would be counterproductive.”
Prior to clause 10.2.2 of the AUU constitution being established, casual vacancies had to be filled unless the expiration of the director’s term is within 90 days. Clause 10.2.2 now means that these vacancies do not have to be filled unless not doing so would leave the board with less than 8 members.
Not one to shy away from criticism, Pace struck back at Scott for questioning his ability to meet KPI’s.
“All [his] arguments are irrelevant. Challenging my competency as an individual is inappropriate and unprofessional. What gives the board the right to decide the workload of the SRC President? It is the equivalent of telling someone that because they’re a medicine student they can’t be a union president. The last AUU President was a full time medicine student.”
Pace later continued his point by questioning whether Scott will be able to meet KPI’s
“Brodie Scott has told me he intends to study four subjects a semester while AUU President. I will be studying one each semester and prioritising students at the university.”
Scott and Pace are from two different political parties, with Scott from Progress who are typically more right-wing and Pace from Activate who are a part of the Left faction of the Labor Party. Were Pace to be excluded from this vacancy, the voting power of the left-wing political parties would be severely weakened. This was a point that Board Director Jack Crawford mentioned in his criticism of the motion.
When asked if the attempt to leave the vacancy unfilled was a politically motivated one, Scott told On Dit that his main concern is KPI’s and whether or not someone like Pace would meet them. In rebuttal to this point, Pace pointed out that from 2011 to 2014, each SRC President had sat on board whilst also meeting their KPI’s.
AUU General Manager, Gary Sutherland, remarked that the decision not to fill the vacancy was rather unusual.
“For me, it is a very unusual position not to fill a casual vacancy in ordinary business. It would be an exceptional set of circumstances where it weren’t filled…It is up for Board members to interpret what these circumstances may be”
When asked about whether he has met with the General Manager on this issue, Scott remarked that “this issue is a Board issue. [Sutherland] is an employee of the Board and thus his advice is meaningful but this is ultimately a decision for Directors to make”
This issue is expected to be voted upon at the next board meeting.