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PNGAA committee opts for some change

Detailed proposals for constitutional change in the PNG Association have just been published on the Association’s website by the PNGAA management committee following its meeting on Sunday.

The committee unanimously accepted recommendations of its own constitution (rules) review committee and these will be put to the PNGAA membership in the form of a postal ballot to be distributed with the next issue of the journal, Una Voce, late this month.

“The review was instigated by the former President and the Review Committee has taken on board much of his input and input from other Association members as well as broadening the scope of the review,” the announcement says. The result of the ballot will be announced at a special general meeting scheduled for Sunday 26 April.

The announcement notes that changes to the constitution must be passed by a 75% majority of members who vote. This is a significant hurdle and emphasises the need for the recently established PNGAA Reform Group to continue to mobilise members in support of change.

The management committee has also agreed to the Reform Group’s request to hold, if required, a postal ballot for management committee positions. Nomination forms will be distributed with the March 2009 issue of Una Voce and, if more than one nomination is received for any position, postal ballot forms will be distributed to members in time to be returned before the annual general meeting on 26 April.

In knocking back a widely supported proposal to establish State branches where there was a mood to do this, instead opting for a weakened “recognition of regional groups”, the committee has failed to confront the need to ensure the PNGAA develops as a truly national organisation.

However the PNGAA Reform Group’s intention to stand candidates for the committee from around Australia, if successful, will significantly remedy this deficiency.

Among the main constitutional changes being proposed to members by the PNGAA committee:

§          Limiting the size of the management committee to 10 members.

§          New objectives for the Association including a prominent position for strengthening the Australia-PMG relationship.

§          A full postal vote of all members where required.

§          Recognition of regional groups of members rather than moving immediately to a formal national association with State branches. The intention is to have one committee member handling State liaison.


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