Admin/Union

The Effectiveness of Policy? NatCon Day Two Recap

9 December 2015

“Protectionist economics is archaic — long live the free market!”

It was a very slow morning on the Tuesday of NatCon. Conference did not even begin until 3pm in the afternoon — and sure enough, that led on tp a very long night.

If you haven’t caught up with the most recent dealings, why not? You can follow our daily live blog here.

The remainder of Small and Regional Campus policy was wrapped up rather quickly. The following policy chapter discussed was Education — the big one. The first particularly contentious policy was the self-explanatory “HECS is best” policy, which clashed ideologically with both the NUS’ core belief in free higher education and other pro-free education policies.

Robby Magyar, a Student Unity delegate from the University of Sydney, claimed that to have free education would be to live in a “magical fairy-land”.

Unsurprisingly, it didn’t pass, provoking familiar yells of “SHAME” from Student Unity.

Discussion on education policy progressed into the second chapter of deregulation campaigns. Currently, the federal Coalition Government has shelved legislation implementing its controversial deregulation of university fees. While the floor believes this is a large win for students, delegates from all factions (except the Liberals) remain on their toes.

Multiple attacks were made at university vice-chancellors, including our very own Glyn Davis, for supporting the deregulation of university fees.

“Vice-chancellors incite violence against students!” claimed Grassroots Left member, Liam Carrigan.

Simultaneously, nominations for senior positions were announced. Factional deals have been finalised, and it appears the 2016 NUS Executive will include:

President – Sinead Colee (NLS)

General Secretary – Cameron Petrie (Unity)

Education – Max Murphy (NLS)

Welfare – Robby Magyar (Unity)

Queer – Still TBD, but possibly Clare Francis (SAlt) or Dean Mattar (NLS)

Disabilities – Hayden Shaw (unity)

Womens – Heidi La Paglia (NLS)

Environment – Isabel Grace Manfield (NLS)

ATSI – Lizzie Green (Unity)

Small and Regional – Peter Munford (Unity)

In an unusual turn of events, the conference floor lost quorum not due to protest. Sources have disclosed that Student Unity was the cause behind the first loss of quorum on that day. The second quorum was lost following the debate over parallel import restrictions (PIRs) in relation to textbooks. Many delegates were left wondering what the point of this discussion was, as a policy from NUS either condemning or supporting PIRs would arguably have no influence on federal trade discourse. Nevertheless, it continued.

Due to the visibly unclear result of the vote, a campus count was called. Voting members from each campus were separated into their respective delegations and given ballots. The arduous task of manually counting each campus’ votes pushed the session past midnight. The motion eventually passed, prompting delegates from Student Unity to cheer madly, and NLS to leave the room in protest. The consequent loss of quorum brought the session, and day 2 of NUS NatCon, to a close

With at least five more policy chapters to be discussed, it will be a race to the finish on Wednesday. I, like my fellow media observers, are preparing for a late one.

Image credit: Dylan Lloyd.

You can read the Day One Recap here.

You can read the Day Three recap here.