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Dear Friends,

Independent and unaligned delegates went to the 2015 ALP National Conference not only to input into the Party Policy Platform but with specific proposals on four major reform items promoted by Bill Shorten.

National rules reform is not easy. It is difficult to forge consensus within factions let alone across factions because differing circumstances in different States can mean a change that benefits a faction in one State may disadvantage the same faction in another.

Although our goals for reforms to increase the voice of the rank and file within the Party were closer to the Left’s, we could not breach the gap between our positions. We found it easier to reach accommodations with the Right who clearly had an onus to deliver outcomes for their Parliamentary Leader Bill Shorten.

We struck a compromise deal with the Right that delivered a direct vote for their National Conference delegate to every Party member across Australia. We also convinced the Right to reduce their Federal electorate party membership minimum from 300 to 150 for Party members in those electorates to qualify for an increase of 20% in the weighting of their House or Reps pre-selection vote – a reform that would also have been passed but for a stuff up which saw it debated but not voted on.

Unfortunately on the reform most dear to rank and file members, Senate pre-selections, neither the Right nor the Left were prepared to negotiate. Nor would either faction countenance a rule to curtail National Executive intervention in pre-selections.

We had a major victory in delivering to rank and file members voting for National Conference delegates, and although lack of success in the other areas is very disappointing, particularly delivering participation to Party members in pre-selecting Senate Candidates, the greatly increased influence of independent and unaligned delegates and rank and file pressure group at this National Conference is something we should savour and build on, both at National and State level.

Party members need to be aware that nothing in the new National rules prevent them from pursuing at State level those reforms that were not achieved as binding National Rules – I intend to start that quest now.

Hope you can find time to read the full report below.

Eric Dearricott (Convenor Independent and Unaligned Delegates 2015 Labor National Conference)

How Independent Delegates and Rank and File Pressure Groups Changed National Conference

I have been an independent delegate to the last four ALP National Conferences but the 2015 Conference was different.

Why? Because delegates representing rank and file members, not factions, for the first time in decades had the balance of power and had real input into outcomes. This time each of the factions came to us to discuss their proposals and amendments. Conference platform amendments were accepted or modified in the light of how the factions knew or thought, we, the unaligned, would vote on them. It resulted in more progressive outcomes and a more progressive platform, with, in my view, a couple of notable exceptions.

It was only through the hard work and initiative of independent and unaligned delegates that the significant reform that every member of the Party across Australia gained the right to vote directly for National Conference delegates was achieved.

Further contributing to the factions’ obligation to take heed of rank and file members was the increased influence of Party Policy groups: Labor for Refugees, Rainbow Labor and Emily’s List/Labor Women’s Network, all of whom had sufficient reach to have delegates who, although faction members, were prepared to defy their faction in support of a principle. LEAN whilst perhaps not yet at the position of the aforementioned groups ran a huge grassroots campaign in support of the 50% Renewable Energy Target which clearly helped embolden the Conference to adopt a strong and internationally credible climate change policy as one of Labor’s major election planks.

Four Independent and unaligned delegates exercised their vote freely on all issues before the Conference. Of the 397 delegates, 197 were aligned to the Right, 196 to the Left, with the four unaligned delegates: two Victorians, myself and Sandra Willis, ably supported by our proxy David Imber, and two from outside Victoria.

Clearly on any issue how the unaligned delegates voted had the potential to determine whether an amendment was won or lost – the Right needed two of our votes, and the Left three, to reach the required 199 votes for a proposal, in particular one requiring a statutory majority as rules changes do, to be carried.

As unaligned members, we believe in delegates voting on issues according to their own judgements, and although we caucused each morning and lunchtime to discuss the issues, we did not seek to bind each other on any issue or deal on policy issues – it was against our principles. On the other hand, the Right and the Left on almost every issue find ways to bind their members even on the rare occasions when they may wish to vote contrary to their group position.

It was the first time in many years that the Left had a chance to have victories on the floor of the Conference and they were keen to do so. It looked like it might happen on the morning of the first day with the Left’s “Buffet Rule” amendment which sought to remove opportunities for tax avoidance by wealthy individuals, but when we, the unaligned, were in support, the Right accepted Left amendments rather than test the numbers on the floor. It was a pattern that would recur in the course of the Conference – the Right couldn’t afford loss of face in the run up to the big votes on turning back the boats and conscience vs binding vote on marriage equality, issues on which we independents were likely to take positions which did not accord with theirs.

The debate on the motion that our policy prohibits turning back asylum seekers boats was passionate and speakers were articulate. On the Friday, it had appeared that enough Right delegates were prepared to defy their faction’s position and vote for the prohibition motion but come the debate on Saturday afternoon they had either acquiesced or had given their voting card to a proxy prepared to vote in the desired way. Some left unions delegations from some states and some Left delegates including Victorian Left politicians also voted with the Right to support the leader’s position on the issue. The two Victorian independent delegates voted to prohibit turn-backs.

The Independent/Unaligned Role in Party Reform at National Conference:

Independent and unaligned delegates went to the Conference with specific proposals on four major reform items that had been flagged by Bill Shorten: Direct member participation in election of national conference delegates, direct member participation in the pre-selection of Senate candidates, an increase by 20% in the proportion of the pre-selection vote of rank and file members in House of Reps pre-selections and curtailing intervention in pre-selections by the National Executive.

As delegates truly seeking to empower rank and file members independent and unaligned delegates usually hold like views and this Conference was no exception.

In most, but not all, circumstances Labor’s National Rules seek to form a framework within which State and Territories rules must fit, but they do not prescribe exactly what each jurisdiction must do. This causes difficulties for a unified position for the factions because in some States their groups will be advantaged by proposals and others disadvantaged – it made matters difficult for them and for us trying to work and negotiate with them. The boot was on the other foot – we had a unified position but each of the factions did not necessarily have one.

We tried not to leave anything to chance and I met with several of the lead negotiators from the Left and the Right in the weeks and days prior to the Conference and continued to do so during the Conference. Below is an outline of the negotiations and outcomes on the four issues where we sought to advance the rights and influence of rank and file Party members.

Local party member participation in the election of National Conference delegates: In April 2014 Bill Shorten had said

“Future Labor Conferences to be a mix of people from and by Labor members and those elected by State Conferences.”

The Right’s initial position was spelt out in the draft rule in the new constitution which read:

“A proportion of those delegates must be elected by local branch members and include delegates from outside metropolitan areas”

It was our view that this did not give sufficient assurance of a significant say for local Party members in determining their own National Conference delegates and we proposed that

At least 50% of National Conference delegates must be elected from and by local branch members and include delegates from outside metropolitan areas. The other delegates will be elected by State Conference.”

The Left’s initial position was that

“50% of National Conference delegates must be directly elected by all financial members of a State Branch in a single ballot and 50% must be elected by those unions affiliated to the State Branch”

The Left and Right could not find a consensus on their positions nor could they agree with ours. We could not agree with the Left’s position to enshrine in the National rules that delegates nominated by union executives (not delegates elected by the union rank and file) would take 50% of National Conference positions when almost every Party elder including those of the Left like John Faulkner and Greg Combet were advocating a reduction in union power within the Party. We then proposed

A number of National Conference delegates at least equal to the number of Federal electorates in the State must be elected from and by all eligible local branch members and include delegates from outside the metropolitan areas.”

It was a proposal that should have had appeal to all sides. It delivered a guaranteed significant proportion of delegates (43% in Victoria) to be elected by all rank and file members. For the Left in NSW it delivered direct voting rights to all member rather than Branches electing delegates to a Federal electoral Council who then chose the Conference delegate. For the NSW Right it allowed the NSW to continue its current system in which the federal electorate with the smallest number of Party members gets one delegate and the one with the biggest number also gets just one. For States like Victoria, committed to proportionality (one vote one value), it would allow them to base their ballots on areas bigger than one federal electorate (but probably not the whole state because of the delegates from outside metropolitan areas requirement). Because of the “at least” requirement, States could increase the local Party member component to 50% or more. States who desired it could change their rules to allow unions to elect a proportion of National Conference delegates.

The Right accepted our proposal, had Party legal guru Tony Lang reorganise it, and lodged it themselves. The Left resisted until the last minute, then came on board, except that the Victorian and the WA Left had included a provision that in their States a rule designed to implement had to be carried by three quarters of State Conference delegates – an effective veto on its implementation in those States and a variation unacceptable to us.

Our proposal was moved by a member of the Right and seconded by unaligned NSW delegate Michael Pilbrow – it was opposed by the Left. With 197 Right votes and 4 Left votes making 201 voters in favour, under normal circumstances it should be 2 votes clear of the statutory majority of 199 votes, but it was already late in the day and delegates had to catch planes to other states. Were there enough remaining to carry the day?

President Mark Butler called the motion lost on the voices (the Left yelled ‘No’ louder). We called for a count. There were exactly 199 ‘ayes’, the required Statutory majority. Our proposal was passed and finally all party members will have a voice in determining their National Conference delegates.

Local member Participation in Senate Pre-selections

In April 2014 Bill said “Give local Labor members a meaningful say in the selection of Senate Candidates” but the Right had included no rule in the new constitution to implement this vision.

We wanted at least 50% weighting for rank and file members in pre-selecting their State’s Senators, but given that in the ACT rank and file members already had 100% weighting, we framed our proposal to protect the rights they already had. It was:

“For Senate pre-selections, if as of July 24 2015 members who live in the State have less than 50% of the total votes, then the state branch must increase the proportion of votes for those members to at least 50%.”

The Left’s position was that Senate candidates be preselected by a ballot of all Party members in a State and a separate ballot of all Union (Executive appointed) delegates to State Conference with the weighting for each being equal. In my negotiations with the Right they indicated that they may propose a 25% weighting for local Party members. We urged them to increase this to one third (ie one of the three “winnable” senate positions) but when the final amendments were revealed the Right had no Senate pre-selection proposal.

In a conjoint debate the Left moved their proposal and then I moved and Sandra Willis seconded our motion. The Left proposal was put first and lost on the voices because both the Right and the unaligneds opposed it. Our motion was put, and although we yelled as loud as we could, four voices were not enough to carry it with both the Right and the Left opposing it.

Once their motion had lost it would have made logical sense for the Left to support our proposal – our four plus their 196 would have given a total of 200 votes, one more than the Statutory majority required for the change to be adopted. It would have delivered in each State the 50% (at least) rank and file participation the Left professed to support and kept open the ability for them to propose at State Conferences the 50% weighting for Union delegates they had sought to enshrine nationally.

Increasing the weighting of local members votes in House of Reps Pre-selections In his landmark 2014 address, Bill Shorten said

“… increase the weight given to the local members’ vote by 20% in every House of Representatives seat with more than 300 members” – In Victoria this would mean a 70:30 split in favour of local party members.”

The Right included this proposal in the new Draft Rules which read:

“For House of Representative preselections, if as of July 24 2015 members who live in the electorate have less than 70% of the total votes, then for electorates with more than 300 members the state branch must increase the proportion of votes for those members by at least 20%”

Delegates from States where they already had 100% weighting for local Party members couldn’t understand the fuss, but for States like Victoria where the local member weighting was 50%, and WA where the local member weighting was a trifling 17.5%, increasing their vote by 20% was a very important matter for Rank and file members.

The Left, led by the Victorian Left were adamantly opposed to the increase – they were understandably concerned that it would and could be a reward for branch stackers and were intent of preserving the power of the unions.

The independent and unaligned delegates supported the increase of 20% but not the 300 lower limit for a Federal electorate to qualify for the increase.

In my negotiations with the Right I advocated that there be no lower limit to qualify for an increase of 20%, pointing out that currently only 14 Hose of reps seats in Victoria had more than 300 eligible party members and all but Melbourne were safe seats. They weren’t prepared to accept no lower limit but in the end we did a deal with the Right on a lower limit of 150, a deal which would give rank and file members in another 12 Victorian seats 70% weighting in House of Reps pre-selections.

We submitted that amendment in my and Sandra Willis’ names, but on the floor it was moved by a Right delegate and seconded by myself. It was opposed robustly by the Left. A count was required and based on the previous division the proposal should have been carried but it was deferred to allow some delegates to return from negotiations to the Conference floor. The affirmative Action and the Marriage equality amendment were then dealt with and it was 6.10 pm before their completion and after that Bill Shorten gave his Conference closing speech. We could have then pressed for a vote on the 20% increase but too many delegates had departed to catch their interstate flights – rank and file members especially those from Victoria and WA had been deprived of a significant advance in democracy in their States.

Reducing Federal Executive Intervention in Pre-selections In April 2014 the Federal Leader said

“From now on intervention by the National Executive shall be the exception not the rule.”

We lodged an amendment stating

”National Executive intervention in pre-selections will be restricted to genuinely urgent and/or exceptional circumstances.

Neither the Left nor the Right were prepared to support our amendment. Given the debating time restraints of the day and the low priority accorded it by the Agenda Committee we withdrew it.

Other Important Reform Issues

Affirmative Action:

In the run up to and during the Conference we had made clear our support for a move to 50% female representation both in Parliaments and other positions within the Party to the women framing the amendments to the National AA rules. The outcome was a just reward to the determination and application of those, spearheaded by the Victorian women, who worked so hard and so long to achieve it.

Marriage Equality

The Independents went to the Conference with the goal of supporting an outcome which would maximise the likelihood of the passage of legislation to implement marriage equality in the shortest time possible. We were of the view that the Party’s policy which supports equal marriage opportunity should be binding and not a conscience vote and supported an amendment removing the conscience vote when this parliament ends thus maximising the possibility of the Coalition having a conscience vote on the issue during this parliament.

On Saturday morning at the Conference Rainbow Labor also took this position and later it became the Left’s position.

With the support of the left, ourselves and several Right delegates on the balance of probabilities the sunset clause on the conscience vote at the end of this Parliament looked likely to get up in a close vote.

However a late compromise resulted in the Leader announcing that it had been agreed that the sunset clause on the conscience vote would be at the end next Parliament and that in government within the first 100 days he would introduce legislation to implement marriage equality. The compromise was carried unanimously.

Increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander in Public Office Positions held by Labor

Unaligned ACT MLA and Conference delegate Chris Bourke gained the unanimous support of the Conference for a Resolution committing the Party to increasing the Representation of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders in public positions Labor holds.

What Now?

At State Level: National Rules are a guiding framework within which States Rules must conform – nothing in the National rules prohibits many of the reforms that were not successful at the 2015 National Conference from being pursued at State Conferences. In Victoria for instance, we can still propose rules that give party members a weighting of at least 50% in selecting Senate candidates, and increase the weighting of rank and file members in pre-selections not only for the House of Reps but also for the Legislative Assembly. And we can seek to enshrine in our State rules that in the next round of Legislative Council candidate pre-selections, that party rank and file Party members for the first time in 16 years Party members are allowed their right to vote! In the meantime we must mount an even more strenuous campaign to ensure that in the forthcoming State Conference delegate elections a far greater number of delegates are elected who will vote in the interests of rank and file members not in the interests and as directed by a faction.

At National Level If there are just four independent and unaligned delegates at the next National Conference we are unlikely to have the balance of power. We need to substantially increase the number of delegates voting for reform empowering rank and file Party members. We need to increase our links and numbers across the country, assist each other, establish a Labor National Non-aligned Network, and enhance our relationships with like minded groups such as Open Labor and Local Labor as we did for this 2015 Conference in Victoria.

At the Next National Conference

We learnt lessons from the 2015 Conference to be passed on to our delegates at the next Conference. We need to know who are non-aligned delegates and know it early so that we can establish common Party reform causes and know our negotiating strength – a National Non-aligned Network would be of major assistance in this.

At this 2015 Conference, despite us holding the balance of power, we were given no real role in ordering the agenda and were not even given access to the amendments until after the debates had started. It was improper, unfair, undemocratic, an alarming lesson and something that we cannot allow to happen again.

Eric Dearricott

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The following Rules amendments have been lodged today with a view to facilitating the implementation of Bill Shorten’s April 2014 reform proposals. They will be voted on tomorrow.

i) National Conference delegate election

Bill Shorten said:

“Future Labor Conferences to be a mix of people from and by Labor members and those elected by State Conferences.”

New rule 31b reads:

“A proportion of those delegates must be elected by local branch members and include delegates from outside metropolitan areas”

Preferred amendment to 31b:

“At least 50% of those delegates must be elected from and by local branch members and include delegates from outside metropolitan areas. The other delegates will be elected by State Conference.”

Alternative amendment:

“A number of those delegates at least equal to the number of Federal electorates in the State must be elected from and by all eligible local branch members and include delegates from outside the metropolitan areas.”

ii) Senate Pre-selections

Bill said:

“Give local Labor members a meaningful say in the selection of Senate Candidates”

Currently no rule has been placed in the new constitution to implement this vision.

Proposed new NPO :

“For Senate preselections, if as of July 24 2015 members who live in the State have less than 50% of the total votes, then the state branch must increase the proportion of votes for those members to at least 50%.”

iii) Increasing the weighting of local members votes in House of Reps Pre-selections

Bill Shorten said:

“… increase the weight given to the local members’ vote by 20% in every House of Representatives seat with more than 300 members” – In Victoria this would mean a 70:30 split in favour of local party members.”

This is included in this form in the new Draft Rules –

Rule 39 (d) reads:

“For House of Representative preselections, if as of July 24 2015 members who live in the electorate have less than 70% of the total votes, then for electorates with more than 300 members the state branch must increase the proportion of votes for those members by at least 20%”

Proposed amendment: In Rule 39 d) replace “300” with “100” in the phrase “with more than 300 members”

Alternative amendment: In Rule 39 d) replace “300” with “150” in the phrase “with more than 300 members”

iv) Federal Executive Intervention in Pre-selections

In April 2014 the Federal Leader said:

“From now on intervention by the National Executive shall be the exception not the rule.”

Proposed new NPO:

“National Executive intervention in pre-selections will be restricted to genuinely urgent and/or exceptional circumstances.

Eric Dearricott

25 July 2015

Dear Friends,

Please find below a summary report of the Saturday July 4 Independents’ Pre-National Conference Forum

Forum Report

The purpose of the Forum was to provide input to Conference delegates Sandra Willis and Eric Dearricott and proxy David Imber on what were seen as key Conference issues.

Policy Issues:

a) Refugee and Asylum Seeker Policy:

There was general agreement that:
i) There needs to be a regional approach to asylum seekers
ii) Processing of asylum seekers regardless of how they arrive should be onshore
iii) Labor policy should not endorse turning boats back
iv) Labor should oppose refoulement
v) Workers at detention centres should not be prohibited from speaking out about unacceptable practices and occurrences

b) Climate Change

It was believed that Labor’s policy must include specific and ambitious targets for greenhouse gas reduction and for renewable energy produced electricity.

c) Marriage Equality

Should Labor Parliamentarians be allowed a conscience vote on Marriage Equality (Same Sex Marriage)?

Labor’s current platform supports same sex marriage but allows parliamentarians a conscience vote on the issue.

Whilst there was strong support for the Party’s policy there was general agreement that delegates should adopt an approach which maximises the likelihood of passage of marriage equality laws at the earliest possible time.

d) Trade Agreements

There was strong concern that these will 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 serious concerns were expressed around the ability of companies to challenge Australian social legislation in the courts and intellectual property rights.

f) Party reform

Disappointment was expressed about the failure of the draft rules changes to implement several of Bill Shorten’s April 2014 proposals and the Independent delegates were encouraged to continue to seek to implementation of those modest aspirations.
Particular aspects discussed were:

i) Bill Shorten said

“Future Labor Conferences to be a mix of people from and by Labor members and those elected by State Conferences”

New rule 31b reads

“A proportion of those delegates must be elected by local branch members and include delegates from outside metropolitan areas”

Those present supported Bill Shorten’s April 2014 statement but were strongly of the view that thought that the rank and file component should be at least 50%.

Proposed amendment to 31b

“At least 50% of those delegates must be elected from and by local Labor members and include delegates from outside metropolitan areas. The other delegates to be elected by State Conference”

ii) Bill Shorten proposed

“Give local Labor members a meaningful say in the selection of Senate Candidates”

As with National Conference delegates those present believed that at least 50% of the weighting in the selection of State Senate candidates should be held by the rank and file.

Proposed new NPO

“At least 50% of the weighting in preselecting State Senate candidates must be held by local Labor members”

iii) In April 2014 the Federal Leader said

“From now on intervention by the National Executive shall be the exception not the rule”.

This reform is not currently included in the proposed rules changes – given Victorian members have been stripped of their rights to vote in the past 3 pre-selections of candidates for the Legislative Council those present were emphatic that at rule that restricts intervention in pre-selections must be included in the National Rules by this National Conference.

iv) Bill Shorten said

“… increase the weight given to the local members’ vote by 20% in every House of Representatives seat with more than 300 members”

In Victoria this would mean a 70:30 split in favour of local party members.”

This is included in this form in the new Draft Rules – In reality for Victoria this rule will apply almost exclusively in stacked electorates because of the 300 member minimum we believe the 300 member minimum should be removed from the proposed draft rule.

v) Affirmative Action –

No changes have been included in the draft – this must change especially in relation to changing defining what are included as winnable seats prior to the commencement of pre-selections.

Regards,
Eric Dearricott
Secretary Victorian Labor Independents
0419 357 192

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.

Many people have emailed asking my view on the candidates and for the factional leanings of the candidates.

Mark Butler, Jane Garrett and Louise Pratt are from the Left and Henry Pinskier & Tim Hammond lean to the Right.

The Independents have always taken the view that in elections like this it is up to each individual to make up their mind as to how they will vote after reading the statements from the candidates and utilising what other sources of information they can access. Below I have stated the view that I have reached because many have asked for my opinion – it shouldn’t be regarded in any way as an edict about how you should vote – we don’t do that.

Personally I will vote for Mark Butler because he has a proven history of support for democratic reform at least back as far as the Hawke-Wran proposals of the early 2000s and his personal statement makes the clearest commitment of all candidates to reform that gives members real greater voice both in internal elections and policy formation.

PS Local Labor and Open Labor conducted a survey of the candidates. The results of that survey can be found on the Open Labor Blog.

Forging an alliance to work for democracy within Victorian Labor Sunday February 2 at 2 pm

Recent events have made it absolutely clear that the iron fisted discipline exercised by the
power brokers of the Right and Left factions acting in collusion under the guise of the so called
stability pact to force their factions’ members on the Administrative Committee and
the Public Office Selection Committee (POSC) to vote for proposals whether those
individuals agree with them or not seriously threatens the future of Labor in Victoria.

Loyalty to Party must come before loyalty to faction on bodies such as the Administrative
Committee and the POSC but this is not the case in Victorian Labor where all key decisions
are now made and enforced by a small cabal of Left and Right power-brokers.

Exploratory discussions have been held to discuss the dire situation in which we find
ourselves and a tentative proposal has been framed around the forthcoming FEA Elections
likely to be conducted in late March‐ early April.

State Conference delegates are the key to advancing the cause of Party democracy.
The Party needs not only Conference delegates who pledge to support reform and not
accept direction as to how they vote on individual items at Conference but they also need to
pledge to vote for candidates for key positions such as Administrative Committee member
or POSC who commit that they will not be bound or directed by a faction as to how they
vote on those bodies but will vote in what they regard as the best interests of the
membership and the Party as a whole.

A special meeting open to any Party member will be held at 2pm this coming Sunday
February 2 to explore this proposal. See below.

Victorian Labor Independents Meeting
Forging an Alliance to Work for Democracy Within Victorian Labor
Middle Park Community Centre
254‐256 Richardson St
Middle Park (Melways: 2K/E11)
2pm Sunday Feb 2nd 2014

Contact: Eric Dearricott
Secretary Victorian Independents
0419 357 192

 

We are proud to announce that Vic Labor Independents are online.

This promises to be a big year for the party – people are working out that Abbott is everything he said he wasn’t, but we need to win them back to Labor.

We need a party that takes its direction from its members.

The Party’s rules are set at Conference. To change the way our Party works, we need to change its rules. To change its rules, we need independent people at Conference, and we need independent people in our FEAs.