Open Forum to discuss key ALP National Conference issues

Dear Friends,

Please find below info about Saturday’s Independents’ Open Forum agenda.

It should be an interesting and productive Forum – Please attend if you can and invite others to attend also we want your input.

The Venue is
Unitarian Church
110 Grey St East Melbourne,
Saturday July 4
2-4pm
Parking at the front of the Church and also behind the Church at the end of Gotch Lane which runs beside the Church

Agenda:

a) Refugee and Asylum Seeker Policy – offshore vs onshore processing and turning back the boats will be challenging issues at the Conference although at this stage the latter is not in the draft platform.

b) Climate Change – Australia’s targets for carbon reduction and for renewable energy produced electricity are key items likely to be debated at the Conference

c) Should Labor Parliamentarians be allowed a conscience vote on Same Sex Marriage: Labor’s current platform supports same sex marriage but allows parliamentarians a conscience vote on the issue. Both the Irish referendum and the more recent US Supreme Court ruling in favour of same sex marriage have made a vote on the issue prior to the next election more likely.

d) Trade Agreements – there is a real concern that these could allow workers to be brought in for certain projects working under conditions inferior to Australian agreements which would not only impact on local employment but undermine the wages and conditions of local workers. Other concerns are around the ability of companies to challenge Australian social legislation in the courts and intellectual property rights.

e) Palestine

f) Party reform:

i) Direct election by rank and file members of National Conference delegates – this is included in the new National Rules but no percentage is prescribed. In Victoria currently all National Conference delegates are elected by State Conference delegates.

ii) Direct rank and file member participation in the pre-selection of each State’s Senate candidates. In Victoria currently this is done solely by the central Public Office Selection Committee.
Bill Shorten proposed that there should be direct membership involvement but this is not currently included in the new draft rules.

iii) Restricting intervention by the national Executive in pre-selections to genuinely urgent circumstances.

iv) 70% rank & File/30% Public Office Selection Committee pre-selections in Victoria.

g) Other Conference Issues from the Floor of the Forum

The draft Policy Platform and Draft new Constitution (Rules) are now on the ALP National Conference Website so if you wish to check out any policy area Google ALP National Conference 2015 to find the policy item that interests you.

Regards,
Eric Dearricott
Secretary Victorian Labor Independents
0419 357 192

PS Sandra Willis and I, who are both National Conference delegates, and David Imber who is a proxy, will be there to hear your views.

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