Australia New Zealand Society for Ecological Economics
6th Annual General Meeting
12:45 PM, 7 July 2000
Australian National University, Canberra
Minutes prepared by Rosemary James
The AGM started at 12.45pm on 7 July 2000 in Canberra. Mike Young, ANZSEE President, chaired the meeting. About twenty members attended the AGM.
An apology was received from Rosemary James.
2. Minutes of the 1999 AGM
The minutes of the 1999 AGM were considered and were passed unanimously without amendments.
3. Matters Arising
There were no matters arising from the minutes of the 1999 AGM.
4. President's Report
The President tabled his report, a copy of which is appended.
5. Treasurer's Report
The Treasurer presented his report, a copy of which is appended. After much discussion, it was decided to set the membership fee to zero for 2001. It was noted that it might be appropriate to have a non-zero annual fee in years when an ANZSEE conference was held. It was noted that the Secretary will still need to maintain a membership list. It was agreed that as soon as possible ANZSEE would move to have the annual membership fees collected by ISEE, as per the current ISEE proposal.
6. Election of Office Bearers
The following office bearers were elected unopposed:
Queensland Branch President
Melbourne Branch President
Armidale Branch President
7. Other Business
There was no other business. The meeting closed at approximately 2 pm.
This year almost all our efforts have gone into preparing for ISEE 2000. First and foremost, let me begin by acknowledging the tremendous job undertaken by David Stern. He has done the Lion's share of the work. Let me also thank the organising committee and all the other people who have worked tirelessly to get us to where we are today.
It seems dangerous to report on a conference before it is over but let me indicate that the challenge in organising it has been tremendously satisfying. We learned a lot from both the National and International Organising Committees. We also learned a lot from the planning workshop we ran. At that workshop, we focused on the trans-disciplinary nature of ecological economics. Engagement with other disciplines is a common organising idea. It is engagement that we seek not just the exchange of ideas and criticisms.
I am pleased to report that the ISEE reform process is now complete and we can move progressively to the future.
As I promised last year, this will be my last term as President. Indeed, I think that I have been in the seat for too long. This stability has made it possible to take on an event the size of ISEE 2000 with confidence. With ISEE 2000 behind us it is now time to grow and develop in new ways.
What else can one say but thankyou for the confidence so many of you have placed in me. The cast of people who I must acknowledge is many and dangerous to name. Nevertheless, let me thank:
Rod Gill for his emphasis on engagement and he and his team's efforts in getting ANZSEE up and organising our first conference;
Mick Common, Kali Sanyal, Padma Lal and David Stern for all the support they have provided the membership;
Terry A'Hearn and his team for organising the Melbourne conference;
John Tisdell and his team for organising the Brisbane conference;
John Wolfenden for his role in setting up the ANZSEELIST, wise council and role as link to all our student members.
At this stage, we have formal branches of ANZSEE in Melbourne and Brisbane. Mark Diesendorf is in the process of forming a branch in Sydney. As well as formal branches, it is pleasing to note that the Ecological Economics Seminar Program continues in Canberra at ANU's Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies. Similarly, UNE's New England Ecological Economics Program continues to grow at Armidale. Over the last year, I can also report that interest in and links with New Zealand have continued to grow. It is interesting also to see links with other societies starting to develop.
In the new world of email and information technology, internet based communication is essential. Let me once again thank John Wolfenden for setting up ANZSEELIST and maintaining it. I perceive that the traffic on this list is about right - Occasional bursts of debate accompanied by a regular stream of basic information.
The ANZSEE Web Site
I go to websites at least once a day and am continually amazed that they work. In ANZSEE's case, we are fortunate to have a site maintained by David Stern.
There are two final issues that I would like to raise:
First, where should we organise the next ANZSEE conference? I invite people to offer to do this and to consider the models available.
Second, I have always wanted to organise an ANZSEE thesis prize. Various models have been offered but we have never got one off the ground. I would like to see this happen. I leave this need as an unfinished piece of business for the incoming Executive.
This report covers the 1999-2000 Financial Year. The actual accounts may be obtained by request from . Due to the timing of this meeting, we are unable to provide the final audited accounts. These comments refer to the provisional unaudited accounts. However, it is not foreseen that there will be any substantial difference between these accounts and the final accounts.
ANZSEE Income and Expenditure Statement
This year saw a turnaround in ANZSEE's financial situation. The surplus was $9085 . This follows deficits in 1998-99 of $611 and of $5044 in 1997-98 (See attached ANZSEE accounts 1995-2000). The result is mostly due to the success of the 1999 ANZSEE Conference in Brisbane which realised a profit of $9971. The major expense is insurance. Fees have risen 60% in the last year and 90% in the year before.
ANZSEE Balance Sheet
ANZSEE's current net assets are $15596 representing a 140% increase on the previous year. Assets largely consist of a term deposit and cash and the investment ANZSEE has made in the ISEE 2000 Conference Organisation. There are no liabilities.
ANZSEE and ISEE 2000
The finances of the ISEE 2000 Conference are completely separate from ANZSEE's own finances. ANZSEE and ISEE have both made (equity-type) investments in the conference organization. I discussed the ISEE 2000 budget in detail at the last AGM. I have not attempted to calculate the current value of ANZSEE's investment. The profit or loss from ISEE 2000 attributable to ANZSEE will appear in ANZSEE's 2000-2001 accounts.
ANZSEE and the GST
ANZSEE has obtained an ABN and registered for the GST. The former is compulsory while the latter is a voluntary choice. We are choosing to register for the GST because it allows us to claim input tax credits on such "inputs" as conference organizers' fees. For example, we expect to be able to claim a few thousand dollars reimbursement from ATO for the ISEE 2000 conference organizers fees.
Abolition of Membership Fee
ANZSEE's good financial position - if this position is maintained, running costs will be payable from interest income,
the introduction of the GST,
the decline in income from membership fees (See attached ANZSEE accounts 1995-2000) vs. the costs of collecting them,
I propose to abolish membership fees. ANZSEE's constitution requires a vote at the AGM or similar meeting to approve changes in membership fees. This change will greatly simplify ANZSEE's accounting, auditing, and taxation records requirements. It will also mean that ANZSEE will no longer require administrative support from the Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies at ANU or from any future host institution. I propose that the Secretary of ANZSEE continues to maintain a list of ANZSEE members. This is required by ANZSEE's constitution and reporting requirements to the ACT Registrar General.