By Chris Quilkey
I am standing for election as a delegate to the National Conference; as a member of the Administration Committee and the Rules Committee.
I have been a Labor supporter and union member for 40 years and a Party Member since 2003 (inspired to join by the disgraceful treatment of the Tampa refugees). I’m Secretary-Treasurer of Quakers Hill Branch and Blacktown LGC, and Vice President of Greenway FEC and Riverstone SEC.
I am a Senior Legislation and Policy Officer in a State Government Department, and have been a member of the PSA since 1996. I have previously been a member of the (then) Local Government Union, Miscellaneous Workers Union and Transport Workers Union, as I have previously worked in local government, hospitality and transport.
I have never worked for Head Office, a union or a Member of Parliament, but I have provided Departmental advice to 9 Ministers (7 Labor, 2 Liberal), over a dozen Ministerial Chiefs of Staff and about 50 Ministerial staffers. A minority were excellent; a minority were abysmal; and the majority were moderately competent. I have a wide variety of life experience that seems to be lacking in many of the Admin Committee members.
I stand for the rights of the rank and file ALP Branch member to meaningful participation in all ALP decision-making processes, particularly the choice of candidates for ALL elected positions both internal and public. I vehemently oppose the N40 Rule and the National Executive right to choose candidates, and led a local boycott of a National Executive chosen candidate in 2010, working in another electorate instead. (In fairness, this candidate has since proven an excellent Member of Parliament – but should have been subject to rank and file pre-selection.) I supported the protests of the Gilmore bus group and attended their meeting with the General Secretary.
I will bring a real-world perspective to the Administration Committee and Rules Committee, being beholden to no faction but open to support responsible policies proposed by either of them. At National Conference I will support reform that empowers the rank and file branch members in policy and selection of candidates.