The three last reasons why you would remain a member of AIBS have gone

Margaret, Bill and Shelley

The final, blundering and sad purge of the NSW office of the AIBS is complete. On 24 March the goths and vandals from the National Office waved goodbye to the remaining staff, bundled up some important stuff in boxes and shut the office for good.

NSW Chapter EO Bill Burns had worked for the AIBS for more than 20 years. Bill was a highly respected, admirable and decent bloke with a distinguished local government career and a long history as a member of the Committee of Management and President and of depa. Goodbye, Bill.
Administration Manager Margaret Bayliss had worked for the AIBS for 15 years and membership Officer Shelley Melville had worked for the AIBS for 12 years. Goodbye Margaret and Shelley.
Not just three good, faithful and reliable employees, but all that corporate knowledge lost in a federal takeover that will leave no familiar faces and no lasting relationship in the Pymple office with anyone from NSW.
More importantly, the power wielders in the Federal Office made no real attempt to explain what they were doing to members, who were left wondering as one-by-one, Margaret, Bill and Shelley disappeared.
Many members of ours are also members of the AIBS. We don’t really understand why, but they are, but they must really be wondering why they would bother now.
Don’t ask Bill, Margaret or Shelley because, as most of you will know, employees affected by the closing down of offices and businesses often end up with a Deed of Release which, amongst other things, pledges confidentiality and no disparagement.
Suffice to say, because Bill is a life member of depa, we provided access to our lawyers to assist in his exit, and advice to Margaret as well who, luckily for us, is now our Office Manager. It was messy, antagonistic and offensive, but it’s done.
You would have thought that NSW would have some influence on the Federal Executive, that the NSW representative would have gone in to bat for those three loyal employees but you would have been disappointed. He’s a diplomat, you see, in the grand Federal scheme of things. Peace in our time and all, that sort of diplomat.
So now NSW is just like the other states. No proportional representation (always a mistake when the BSI was first abandoned because the smart people in AIBS at the time thought you needed to be part of a federal body) will always mean that while NSW might have half the membership nationally, it gets the same vote as the Tasmanians.
And if that voter thinks his role means he has to be a diplomat and that, in turn only means appeasing the aggressors, then there is no hope.
Bill Margaret and Shelley all deserved a better departure.