AGM 2014 - Renewal and optimism

The 51st NSWCCL Annual General Meeting was held on the 15th October 2014 in the Council Chambers at Sydney Town Hall. Around thirty CCL members -including a strong cohort of firstimers -gathered to hear annual reports from the President, Secretary and Treasurer,to elect the Executive and Committee members for 2014/5 and to endorse formal CCL policies around major civil liberties issues.

They heard that the year had been a particularly challenging and depressing one with multiple legislative assaults on civil liberties and rights from both the NSW and the Federal Governments-but that, nonetheless, CCL as an organisation was traveling well.

CCL very actively opposed unwarranted and unwise changes to the recently reformed Bail Act and two rounds of bills proposing mandatory minimum sentences for drug and alcohol fueled violence.   For most of the year CCL has been campaigning against a veritable avalanche of new and proposed counter-terrorism laws from the Federal Government which will continue to the end of the current Parliamentary session. CCL had also engaged with electoral processes at both the national (2013 election Senate voting  processes) and state level (The City of Sydney Amendment (Elections) Act 2014.)

The organisation had experienced ongoing invigoration of its membership and supporter base with a significant influx of younger people which is now strongly reflected in its executive and committee membership.

Major policy positions were discussed and endorsed. These covered: Australia's breaches of international conventions on  asylum seekers; reform of the senate electoral process consistent with democratic principles; reaffirmation of fundamental legal principles consistent with Magna Carta and international conventions; opposition to the Federal Government's arbitrary decision to remove secular welfare workers from the Schools Chaplains Program, reaffirmation of CCLs opposition to the program and support for a secular public school system and  the protection of privacy in the face of rapidly expanding government surveillance  of communications data.

Following the AGM formalities there was a very lively social -thanks to the support of the City of Sydney Council which allows CCL access to the council chamber for its monthly committee meetings and provides post AGM refreshments.

Executive and Committee 2014/5