In reference to the Australian Family Association event which was scheduled to be hosted on the UWA campus on Friday 17 August and at which Dr Quentin Van Meter and Mr Patrick Byrne were to speak, the booking has been voided due to non-compliance with UWA’s venue hire policy.
As part of event due diligence the University Campus Management team undertook a campus safety review on the event. We have been advised the risk surrounding the event has been elevated to a higher level, which mandates a more robust event management plan. In line with this the private event organisers were requested to comply with the University’s Conditions of Hire, including the provision of a risk assessment and detailed event management plan, which addressed issues of safety for the event.
The event hirers were instructed to provide this information by 5pm on the day prior to the event, to ensure that the University was able to be confident that the event did not pose a safety risk, consistent with the terms of hire.
As of close of business Thursday 16 August, the event hirers were unable to provide the requested information to meet the venue hire conditions. As such upon the advice of the Executive Director, Corporate Services who has responsibility for campus safety, and due to an issue of non-compliance, the venue hire booking has been voided. The event organisers have been advised they have forfeited their booking rights for failure to meet the conditions of hire.
The University holds firm on the principles of freedom of expression and maintains its position that it does not wish to set a precedent for the exclusion of objectionable views from the campus. However in this case the event hirers could not meet their obligations of the venue hire contract, providing no confidence that UWA could ensure safety on campus.
The University acknowledges the deeply held views of many people in the community that this event has raised and the broader issue of the role of universities in providing a place for uncensored and robust discussion and debate on many issues in society today and will continue to take forward this important debate.