Emergency National Congress 2021 - notification of motions
As was announced two weeks ago, there will be an Emergency National Congress on the 20th and 21st of November this year. (It’s what other organisations would call a Special General Meeting.)
9AM this morning was the deadline for Constitutional Amendment Proposals to be submitted. We will have two for consideration at the meeting, as well as a Formal Motion.
(We are also expecting to consider some policy motions and start preselection — more on that in the coming weeks.)
You may read both Constitutional Amendment Proposals here, and the formal motion here. They are also reproduced below.
I thank you for your continued support!
Pirate Party Australia
Formal Motion #1 - Affiliate to “Fusion”
Affiliate to the electoral coalition about to be known as “Fusion: Science, Pirate, Secular, Climate Emergency”.
Recent legislation changes have tripled the party registration threshold to 1500. The party’s peak membership (in the days when we did not require annual renewals) barely reached this threshold if at all, and more recently we were below even the 500 threshold. Therefore, the National Council has sought a coalition with like-minded and similarly-impacted minor parties. We believe joining forces is our best option to ensure Pirates will be on the ballot under our name, retaining our existence and identity.
If you are in favour of this motion, please vote for CAP-1 as well.
Constitutional Amendment Proposal #1 - Describe an “electoral coalition” and relocate the additional membership type
Add a new section to the Party Constitution outlining the terms of joining an electoral coalition; also relocate the “additional” membership categories to the Party Constitution proper; as follows:
4.2.2 Permanent Resident membership
- Permanent resident members are entitled to all privileges of a full member, except they are unable to exercise any privileges which cannot be granted due to restrictions imposed by federal, state or territory legislation.
- A permanent resident member must provide evidence of their permanent residency status to be eligible for this membership type.
4.2.3 Supporter membership
- Supporter members are entitled to the same privileges as full members, except they:
(a) are ineligible for National Council and Dispute Resolution Committee positions, and
(b) may not lead any committee, and
(c) do not have voting rights, but have the ability to motion through the sponsorship of a full or permanent resident member, and
(d) are not eligible to stand as a candidate in any election the Party contests, and
(e) are unable to exercise any privileges which cannot be granted due to restrictions imposed by federal, state or territory legislation
- Supporter members are exempt from Article 4.1(1)(c).
4.2.4 International membership
- For all purposes, an international member is considered to be a supporter member, except they
(a) must reside at a non-Australian address, and
(b) are exempt from the requirements of Article 2.1(5).
14 Electoral Coalitions
- Pirate Party Australia may affiliate to an electoral coalition.
- All Full Members of the Party are to be members of the coalition. Relevant member details will be shared within the coalition for the sole purposes of:
(a) obtaining and maintaining electoral registration; and
(b) conducting coalition-level membership ballots.
- The coalition must endorse the principles of democracy, civil liberties and freedom of culture.
- Decisions within the coalition must be made on a democratic and equitable basis.
(a) Each member of the coalition must be entitled to an equal number of voting representatives on constitutional committees.
(b) The Party shall reserve the right to stand a candidate on any coalition ticket for a multi-member election.
(c) Policy development and adoption at a coalition level must occur with as much consultation, participation and consensus as is feasible.
- If the Party is not the organisation within the coalition holding electoral registration, it may be considered a “branch”, “movement” or similar term under the constitution of that organisation.
- The Party reserves the right to independently amend this Constitution.
- If not elected, the Party reserves the right to disaffiliate from the electoral coalition, provided that this occurs between 6 and 18 months after a general election.
- The Party will not leave an electoral coalition during the parliamentary term of any Party member elected as part of that coalition.
- Joint costs will be borne on an equitable basis.
(a) Where applicable, candidate nomination fees will be borne by the branch that candidate is originally from.
- All other members of the coalition are entitled to the privileges of Supporter membership.
The new section outlines the terms under which we would join an “electoral coalition” such as the one that we propose to join with FM-1. Negotiations are still continuing at many points; this lays out what we offer and what we require.
The additional membership types have been unchanged since they took their current form six years ago in 2015. This part of the motion moves them to the main Constitution. The reference to “associate members”, many years out of date, has been deleted.
This is one motion to ensure that the proposed 14(10) can functionally refer to Supporter membership.
If you are in favour of FM-1, please vote for this motion as well.
Constitutional Amendment Proposal #2 - New South Wales Model Constitution alignment
Add the following items to Part III of the Party Constitution as numbered, or replace them if already so numbered:
3 (3) The National Council is the Managing Committee under the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 (NSW).
22.214.171.124 (1)(d) Maintain the party register, in accordance with the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 and Associations Incorporation Act 2009 (NSW);
6 (9) Unless specified elsewhere, proxy voting is not permitted at party meetings.
6 (10) All votes at or arising from a National Congress, Policy Meeting or Preselection Meeting shall be overseen by a Returning Officer who is neither a candidate or a current or outgoing member of the National Council.
6.1 (5) If at least 25% of the members petition the National Council in writing expressing their lack of confidence in the National Council, or if otherwise required to satisfy legal obligations, the National Council shall organise an emergency National Congress of the Members within thirty (30) days.
6.1 (7) A National Congress is a General Meeting under the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 (NSW).
6.1 (8) The National Council may, when it thinks fit, convene a special National Congress. The announcement and notification periods of business to be transacted are the same as for an Annual National Congress.
9.1 (6) Constitutional Amendment Proposals are Special Resolutions under the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 (NSW).
12 (2) The tenure of a Dispute Resolution Committee member will be two (2) Annual National Congresses and also includes any intervening emergency or special National Congresses.
3.3 Authorised Signatory
- An authorised signatory is a party official that is capable of signing official documents on behalf of the party.
- The president and secretary are automatically considered to be authorised signatories.
- The National Council may appoint additional authorised signatories from among the Councillors as deemed necessary.
- Authorised signatories are not to be automatically considered signatories to any party bank accounts.
4.5 Member Liability
- The liability of a member of the association to contribute towards the payment of the debts and liabilities of the association or the costs, charges and expenses of the winding up of the association is limited to the amount, if any, unpaid by the member in respect of membership of the association as required by Article 4.1(1)(b).
8.2 Funding sources
- The funds of the association are to be derived from membership fees, donations and any other such sources that the National Council determines.
- All money received by the party must be deposited as soon as practicable and without deduction to the credit of the party’s bank or other authorised deposit-taking institution account
- The party must, as soon as practicable after receiving any money, issue an appropriate receipt.
- Such fundraising activities shall not occupy a major portion of the party’s time and resources in execution.
10.2 Public Officer
10.2.1 Eligibility, appointment and removal from office
- The Public Officer is appointed at the discretion of the National Council.
- All party members residing in NSW who are over the age of 18 are eligible to be Public Officer.
- The Public Officer is removed from office or are otherwise ineligible if they:
(b) resign in writing to the National Council
(c) become bankrupt
(d) cease to be a resident of NSW
(e) are removed from office by a simple majority motion of the National Congress
(f) are unable to fill their responsibilities due to personal or health related concerns
(g) are otherwise unable to fulfill their responsibilties for a month or longer.
- The National Council must appoint a new Public Officer within 28 days of the position becoming vacant.
- The Public Officer has no fixed term, nor term limit.
10.2.2 Duties and Responsibilities
- The Public Officer is responsible for taking delivery and sending out official correspondence with the Office of Fair Trading NSW on behalf of the party.
- Upon being appointed, a new Public Officer must notify NSW Fair Trading within 28 days of taking office, along with providing their correspondence address.
- The Public Officer’s correspondence address cannot be a post office box.
- The Public Officer must notify NSW Fair Trading within 28 days of any change in their correspondence address.
- The Public Officer is an authorised signatory for the purpose of signing and executing official documents on behalf of the party. Such signatures may only be done in accordance with their duties and responsibilities as documented here, or otherwise specified by the National Council.
The Party Constitution needs updates every so often to reflect changes made to the NSW Model Constitution. This is because the model constitution applies on matters our Constitution does not specify, which creates compliance risk. The changes proposed here generally adopt the provisions of the model constitution. Minor changes are also put regarding Emergency National Congress, and to identify non-emergency, non-annual Congresses as “Special National Congresses”, and to clarify the DRC term.