Our family have been lifelong members of the ALP. My father Cliff Mallam was a member for 76 years and a State Member of Parliament for 28 years. I have been a member for 48 years. My son Nick is also a member. As a Life Member I have worked for the party at every Council, State and Federal election for over 50 years.
My ability to influence party decisions on policy and candidate pre-selection have in recent years been rendered almost non existent.
Upper House pre-selections should be subject to a State wide vote of ALP members. There could be exceptions where a member resigns unexpectedly and a replacement is needed urgently due to close numbers in the house.
Lower House pre-selections should be put to a ballot of ALP members residing in the relevant electorate as soon as practicable after a member resigns. My father won the seat of Campbelltown from the Liberal party in 1971 and would turn in his grave to see the events that occurred after the resignation of Graeme West which resignation occurred over six months before the State election.
It is apparent that the proposed trial candidate pre-selection process to be put before the State Conference will allow members of the public, not even members of the party, to have a vote in pre-selections.
I will be forced to reconsider my membership if, as I suspect, the proposed reforms to be put before the July State Conference of the party do not deliver genuine reform.
At the very least I will resign as the Secretary and Treasurer of the Wollondilly Branch if ALP rank and file members are not given more power to influence pre-selections and decision making processes within the party.