Tasmanian Supreme Court Rules Against Wilderness Society Management
Thursday, 22nd April 2010 at 5:10 pm
There’s chaos within the national conservation organisation, The Wilderness Society today as the Tasmanian Supreme Court rules that its National Management Committee is illegitimate.
The Supreme Court ruled that the National Management Committee was improperly elected at an Annual General Meeting (AGM) in November 2009 at which only 14 people were present.
Infighting has plagued the organisation in a very public battle since a controversial AGM last November, which Campaign Centres and society members were not informed of and it was only advertised in a small newspaper in northern Tasmania.
Today’s legal challenge to the National Management Committee’s AGM in November 2009 by Wilderness Society member Anthony Esposito saw the court issue the following orders:
- The Court declares that the meeting held on the 5th of November purporting to be the Annual General Meeting of the Wilderness Society Inc for 2009 was invalid.
- The Court declares that the resolution passed on 5 November appointing Lyn Goldsworthy, Larry O’Loughlin, Lena Aahlby, Rosemary Norwood and Christine Olsen to the management committee of the Wilderness Society Inc was invalid.
- The Court declares that the resolution passed on 5 November 2009 approving an amendment of R9.1B of the Wilderness Society Inc constitution was invalid.
- The Court declares that the Commissioner for Corporate Affairs was not entitled to register the resolution passed at the meeting held on 5 November 2009.
In applauding Anthony Esposito for his courage in mounting the case for accountability and democracy for the Wilderness Society, members of the Save TWT campaign said the ruling was an unequivocal victory for Campaign Centres, for staff and members.
The campaigners said members of the Wilderness Society must now have their chance to vote this illegitimate group out and elect a new Management Committee that has the trust and confidence of members, campaigners and other staff of the organisation.
They said the decision was a total vindication of what they have been arguing about the lack of legitimacy of the Management Committee, and their Executive Director, Alec Marr.
It called for the current Committee to move into caretaker mode, and to immediately stand down the Executive Director, Alec Marr.
It says a special meeting planned for 2 May must now become the 2009 Annual General Meeting, and the first order of main business must be election of a trusted Management Committee.