Human Rights Commission Board Members Resign
27 June 2012 at 1:08 pm
The Victorian Equal Opportunities and Human Rights Commission has confirmed that a number of Board members have submitted their resignations to Attorney-General Robert Clark, leaving only one board member remaining.
The Age newspaper reported that the reason behind the resignation of three of the Board members came after the Attorney General vetoed their unanimous choice for the key role of heading the human rights watchdog.
The Age did not name the person nominated for the role of Commissioner but says the Board submitted its nomination almost three months ago.
The newspaper reported that the former board members said that their exit ''leaves the commission without a functioning board and therefore without legally operational governance structure''.
However in a statement from the Commission it says that the vacancies on the board will have no effect on the day-to-day operations of the organisation and they will continue to carry out their statutory responsibilities.
Board chairman John Searle has confirmed that Carolyn Creswell, Brendon Gale, and Associate Professor Paula Gerber had tendered their resignation.
“I thank the outgoing Board members for their years of service on the Board and stress that the exceedingly high quality of the work done and service rendered by the commission will continue unimpeded due to the competence, commitment and professionalism of all staff at the Commission.”
The Attorney-General is responsible for appointments to the Board and the Commission says the search for new Board members has already begun.
The Attorney General has also confirmed that the resignations followed his decision not to approve the appointment of a person proposed by the Board for appointment as the Commissioner of the VEOHRC.
“The Government is disappointed that these Board members did not feel able to complete the remaining few months of their terms,” he said.
“However, the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 makes clear that the appointment of a new Commissioner requires both the decision of the Board and the approval of the Attorney-General.
“While I appreciate the search process the Board has undertaken, after careful deliberation I do not consider that the person proposed by the Board has sufficient background or experience in areas required by a