Rules Report Amendments

The following amendments to the Rules Report were submitted earlier today.  If you have submitted amendments, please let us know, and we will share them too.

Amendment 1

Anti-branch stacking – Recommendation on Items 1-27 Rules Report Page 4 Lines 33,34
Conference Agenda Page 55 – LHS
Moved: Neil Reilly, Gilmore FEC
Seconded: Chris Quilkey, Greenway FEC
Current Text:…members to personally renew membership by signing their own membership application or renewal form and …
…or arranging a person to attend on their behalf and paying their membership fees …
Amendment details:Delete the words “or arranging a person to attend their behalf and pay their membership fees”

Amendment 2

Anti-branch stacking – Recommendation on Items 1-27 Rules Report Page 4 Line 39, 47
Conference Agenda Page 55 – LHS
Moved: Neil Reilly, Gilmore FEC
Seconded: Chris Quilkey, Greenway FEC
Current Text:The Administrative Committee may by resolution establish processes to ensure that applicants are personally applying for their own membership and paying with their own funds. The Administrative Committee may by resolution establish levels of documentation required to support a claim of entitlement to the concessional rate and processes to ensure compliance with this rule.
Amendment details: Replace both occurrences of the words “may by resolution” with “shall”

Amendment 3

Direct Elections: Union delegates – Recommendation on Items 50-73 Rules Report Page 13, After Line 33:
Conference Agenda Page 59 – RHS
Moved: Neil Reilly, Gilmore FEC
Seconded: Chris Quilkey, Greenway FEC
Current Text: Note that National Principle of Organisation number 9 states that “it shall be the right of each union to determine the criteria and procedures for selection of its delegates, subject to those delegates being members of that union and financial members of the Party”.
Amendment details: Add “State Conference supports the principle that Union members should determine whether or not their delegates to the NSW ALP State Conference are chosen via direct election.”

Amendment 4

Timing of Preselections – Recommendation on Items 135-140 Rules Report Page 43, Lines 13,14:
Conference Agenda Page 75 – LHS
Moved: Chris Quilkey, Greenway FEC
Seconded: Neil Reilly, Gilmore FEC
Current Text: “Note the concerns of Party units regarding the timing of the opening of preselections.”
Amendment details:
Delete: “Note the concerns of Party units regarding the timing of the opening of preselections.” Add:
“Add to Rule N.1 new clause (e)
‘If one year before a general election is required, nominations for a
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. The results of preselections called under this process will have
equivalent status to those called by the Administrative Committee.’”

Amendment 5

Timing of Preselections – Recommendation on Items 135-140 Rules Report Page 43, Lines 13,14:
Conference Agenda Page 75 – LHS
Moved: Chris Quilkey, Greenway FEC
Seconded: Neil Reilly, Gilmore FEC
Current Text: “Note the concerns of Party units regarding the timing of the opening of preselections.”
Amendment details:
Delete:”Note the concerns of Party units regarding the timing of the opening of preselections.” Add:
“Delete the existing paragraph N.1.b and insert: “Except in
extraordinary circumstances such as a late redistribution, nominations
for lower house seats will be called at least one
year before a general election is required.”Insert at the beginning of N.1.c: “Subject to N.1.b”.”

Amendment 6

Rule N.40 –
Recommendation on Item 144
Rules Report Page 43, Line 49, Page 44, Lines 3 and 15:
Conference Agenda Page 75 – RHS
Moved: Neil Reilly, Gilmore FEC
Seconded: Chris Quilkey, Greenway FEC
Current Text: “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. Recommendation (Item 144): Support in principle.”
Amendment details:
Replace: “We ask that the party’s rules be changed so that:”
With “Delete trailing semicolon from first paragraph of N.40., and delete paragraphs (a) through (d) of Rule N.40., and replace with:”Replace “Rank and file preselections may not be overridden or delayed except in exceptional circumstances.”
With “in exceptional circumstances.”Replace “Support in principle.” With “Support.”

Amendment 7

National Review & Watkins/Chisholm Review – Recommendation on Items 171-200 Rules Report Page 60, After Line 48:
Conference Agenda Page 84 – LHS
Moved: Neil Reilly, Gilmore FEC
Seconded: Chris Quilkey, Greenway FEC
Current Text: Recommendation (Items 171 to 200): Refer to the report on the implementation of the recommendations of the National Review.
Amendment details:
Add: “Conference endorses in principle the public findings of the 2010 National Review”
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One Response to Rules Report Amendments

  1. Chris Haviland says:

    I fully support the amendments to the anti-branch stacking motions, moved by Neil Reilly and Chris Quilkey (Amendments 1 and 2). I will be happy to speak on these amendments if required.

    I have a rather vivid and painful personal experience of the effects of mass branch stacking, paid for in bulk, and the factional manipulation of preselections. I would be happy to go into detail, although I might not make some people in either faction very happy.

    In 1992, I won a rare, untainted rank and file preselection for Macarthur after a redistribution.
    It was only by happenstance that we even had a rank and file ballot. Both factions were looking for a “fix” to shore up certain members, but a sequence of events, ironically started by Graham Richardson’s misadventures in the Marshall Islands, ultimately gave Head Office no choice but to hold rank and file ballots in all seats.

    Neither faction leadership supported me, although most local members of the Left did. I ultimately won this marginal seat in 1993, but that didn’t stop factional organisers, especially from the Right, organising mass ethnic stacking against me right from the outset.

    In 1994, George Paciullo wanted to run for Mayor of Liverpool, to replace Mark Latham who had won a by-election for Werriwa. Paciullo presented a cheque to Head Office covering the membership dues of 500 new members! I don’t know whose cheque it was, but it wasn’t the only example of stacking in the area, just the largest single instance. George wasn’t interested in my seat, but others were. Of the 500, about 50 lived in my electorate, most of these in an Italian nursing home. None of them ever saw the inside of a branch meeting, but many of their names magically appeared on the list of voters in my next preselection!

    I was then approached by prominent members of the Left, who told me that, since the Right were stacking on a large scale, that we had no alternative but to counter them with more stacking… and that, as it was my seat, I would have to pay. So I was forced to cough up a total of $4,000 over a 12 month period to pay for memberships of people from ethnic groups who would supposedly support the Left. I did not even know who most of these people were. Obviously I agreed to do this, as I didn’t appear to have much choice.

    But then 2 other things happened:-

    -Of course, the Right became aware that the left was counter stacking, so Head Office ensured that the 1995 preselections were timed so that many of the Left stacks didn’t have their 12 months membership, and therefore weren’t able to vote. And;

    -Factional operatives in the Left, including those involved in the stacking, decided to run another left candidate in the ballot. Of course, it was “spun” as being a chance to swap preferences, but what I discovered was that many of the members who had been stacked in by people in the Left, whose dues I had paid for, voted for the other candidate! As it happened, we did swap preferences, but the Right had over 50%, with their stacked members.

    Then, when I appealed to the National Executive over the outcome, on the grounds of the mass stacking and other credentialling irregularities (the usual Head Office stuff), I was told by then National Secretary, Gary Gray, that the reason my appeal was disallowed was not because of the merits of my submission, but because my primary vote, which was barely 25%, was too low to justify a successful appeal. So I had been beaten by the stacking of both Left and Right. Even though I had paid for the Left stacks!

    So Labor lost Macarthur with a 12% swing, and has never won it since, and doesn’t seem likely to do so any time soon.

    This is obviously a painful and embarrassing story for me to tell, but I do so to emphasise how important these reforms are. We must ensure that community groups are not manipulated in this way; that factional leaders cannot use slush funds for mass stacking of this kind; and that no sitting Labor MP is ever again subjected to such a situation, of being virtually extorted of thousand of dollars to in order to try to save his or her preselection.

    Chris Haviland
    Delegate from Bradfield FEC

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