The University of Queensland has announced an audit of its student union (UQU) after incumbent right-wing ticket “Fresh” was criticised for hijacking campus elections.
Students will hold a rally on the St. Lucia campus this morning, demanding free and fair elections, following the revelation that “Fresh” pushed regulation changes that allowed the Liberal-aligned ticket to register the name of its rival.
The changes meant that the left-aligned ticket found its name already registered by the brother of “Fresh” ticket president Colin Frinke. The changes meant rival tickets had less than 48 hours to comply with new regulations.
Yesterday UQ administration started a financial audit to address concerns about the transparency of the organisation.
While UQU is independent of the chancellery, the University retains auditing powers under the 2009 Funding and Services Agreement Act.
An Electoral Tribunal held by the UQ Union on August 23 found “Fresh” has not breached regulations. Some on campus voiced concern that the Tribunal was ruling on regulations “Fresh” had itself created.
There is no publicly accessible information on the Electoral Tribunal.
UQU President Finke hit back, calling the accusations of unfair conduct “absurd.”
“A number of members of the Pulse group including Presidential Candidate Abraham O’Neil attended the Union Council meeting where it is alleged that secret changes to the regulations were made,” he said in a written statement.
A former member of the “Fresh” alleged ticket campaigners had previously organised a fake Greens ticket to misdirect Green-leaning votes at UQU elections.
The LNP has been threatened with legal action on previous occasions, last Federal election using volunteers dressed as Greens to capture preferences.