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
Parking at the front of the Church and also behind the Church at the end of Gotch Lane which runs beside the Church


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.

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.