Alexandria Branch is pleased to report that it has passed the following motions, being an extension to the Core Motions.
1. Endorse the 2010 Review and demand it be implemented in full
We endorse the findings of the 2010 National Review and demand that its Recommendations be implemented in full.
2. Intervention in preselections only in genuinely exceptional circumstances.
We request State Conference to implement the 2010 National Review’s Recommendation 25 in full. We ask that the party rules be changed so that:
Rank and file preselections may not be overridden or delayed except in exceptional circumstances. The following are not exceptional circumstances: unproven allegations of branch stacking; star candidates; insufficient time to hold a preselection; desire for balance in gender representation; low membership levels; nor any reasonably foreseeable event. Proven allegations of branch stacking may be grounds for delaying a preselection. The following is exceptional circumstances: no nominations being received by close of nominations.
If there is insufficient time for a preselection prior to the close of nominations, then any member may without repercussion nominate themselves for office, and all party members are required to vote for all such nominees in an order to be determined between the close of nominations and polling day but otherwise conducted as per the normal preselection process.
[This motion spells out what is called for in general terms in Recommendation 25. “That intervention in Party preselections by the National Executive and state administrative committees only occur as a last resort, rather than a first resort, and then only in exceptional circumstances.” It modifies rule N.4 (b) (no time to hold a ballot) and abolishes rules N.40 and M.7(d). This motion does not modify N.4 (a) (“Admin can organise selection… when the call for nomination fails”).]
3. Timely conduct of Preselections
We request State Conference to extend the existing rules around preselections so that:
If one year prior to the earliest date on which a General Election can be reasonably expected, nominations for an electorate have not been called, the local Electoral Council is empowered to conduct its own preselection, following the usual rules for a preselection. One month’s prior notice must be given to all branches in the Electorate and to the Administrative Committee before an Electoral Council can vote to conduct its own preselection.
[This motion extends rule N.1 (b) which currently requires preselections to be called one year prior to elections but do not say what should happen if a preselection is not called.]
4. Anti stacking
We request State Conference to strengthen existing branch stacking rules as follows:
All members must pay their own membership fees direct to head office. The only exception is for immediate family members under the age of eighteen. Members paying a concessional rate must provide a photocopy of their concession card with payment.
[This motion modifies rules A.25 and A.12(d) which currently allow party members to pay for any family member, and for dues to be paid to branch secretaries or the local MP. Although the current rules have not been published, I understand that since last conference, Admin have the option to require documentary evidence of entitlement to a concessional rate, but that it is only used selectively, if at all.]
5. Direct elections for Admin, General Secretaries, Presidents
We request State Conference to implement the 2010 National Review’s Recommendation 11 as follows:
The structure of State Conference shall be changed so that the following positions are filled by postal ballot of the rank and file membership of the party and the rank and file membership of all affiliated unions, with each constituency having a 50% weighting in the final outcome:
President, Senior President and Junior Vice Presidents
General Secretary and Assistant Secretaries
All elected members on the Administrative Council
The ballot of the party rank and file is to be conducted by the AEC or some other independent electoral body. It may held concurrently with the ballots for the National President and Vice-Presidents when timing permits.
The ballot of an affiliated union’s membership shall be held concurrently with the normal ballot for the union’s other elected positions, using the same independent electoral body, if timing permits. Otherwise that union’s membership shall be balloted by postal vote concurrently with the ballot of the party rank and file.
[This motion represents a possible and sensible implementation of Recommendation 11, “that the structure of the ALP National Conference be changed to enable the increased participation of rank and file members through the direct election of a component of the National Conference”, and extends it to the State level.]
6. Union delegates to Conference to be chosen by direct election by union members
We request State Conference to implement the 2010 National Review’s Recommendation 19 as follows:
That representation at State Conference by each affiliated union shall be conditional on the union selecting its delegates to Conference by direct election by the members of the union, concurrently with the ballots for other elected positions in that union, using the same independent electoral body.
[This motion represents a possible and sensible implementation of Recommendation 19, “To encourage the participation of more affiliated trade union members in the Party, that affiliated trade unions be requested to ask members to opt in to Party involvement (e.g. primaries, representing the union at Party conferences)”.]