Proposed Amendments to National Conference

Below and attached are the rule change proposals for the National Conference prepared by Tony Lang (and sent to delegates) based purely on the 2010 National Review. What amendments will be lodged by the Right and the Left is not clear at this stage.

ALP National Conference 2011
AMENDMENTS TO NATIONAL CONSTITUTION – 2010 NATIONAL REVIEW
THAT the National Constitution be amended as follows:
PART A – AMENDMENTS TO IMPLEMENT THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE 2010 NATIONAL REVIEW
1. Growing the Labor Party
1.1. In Part C, in NPO 13, insert new paragraph (a):
(a) The Party will adopt a community-organising model which aims to empower and equip members to work in their local communities on campaigns, to build stronger community connections and to recruit members. The community-organising model applies to State and Territory Branches and all other constituent units.
1.2. In Part C, after NPO 13, insert new NPO 14:
14. The National Secretariat and State and Territory Branches must dedicate an adequate and meaningful budget allocation to new Party-building activities. State and Territory Branches must report to the National Executive on their budget allocations and activities annually.
1.3. In Part C, in NPO 6, add new paragraph (d):
(d) The Party will grant an amnesty to former members who have left the Party within the last five years, but who are willing to rejoin. The amnesty will include the restoration of full membership rights, but will not extend to any former member who has brought discredit on the Party or its representatives. Each State and Territory Branch must amend its rules to give effect to this paragraph.
1.4. In Part C, in NPO 13, replace paragraph (e) with:
(e) MPs and State and Territory Branches should respond to branch correspondence promptly so that branch members know their contribution has been considered. Branches and other constituent units are entitled to have correspondence not responded to within three months brought to the attention of the National Executive by automatic inclusion on the agenda for the next meeting of the National Executive.
1.5. In Part D, add new resolutions 11–15 to implement NPOs:
Community-Organising Model
11. That, as a first step towards re-engaging with Party members, the National Secretariat conduct the first national survey of Party members to seek their views, expectations and attitudes to the Party. Suggestions about improving Party organisation should also be sought. That the results of the survey be published in summary form to members.
12. That the National Executive discuss and determine a membership growth target for increasing membership over the next five years, with progress targets set for each year. That membership numbers achieved be reported on an annual basis to the membership.
13. That the Party appoint a National Director of Organising as a standalone position to grow membership and to assist the building of better branches. That the National Organising Director report growth activities to the National Executive.
14. That the Party establish a cost-effective national campaigning organising and training academy to boost the skills, awareness and knowledge of members to allow them to better participate in party-building and recruitment activities.
15. That a system of small, annual grants be established at a national level to assist with Party-building activities. That local branches be encouraged to apply for grants and the scheme be overseen by a panel of senior Party members, removed from the day-to-day affairs of the Party.
2. A real voice for members
2.1. In Part B, in rule 6, replace paragraphs (e) and (f) with:
(e) At least [insert fraction or percentage] of the delegates (including proxy delegates) from each State and Territory must be directly elected from and by Party members in that State or Territory in a single ballot by proportional representation with affirmative action in accordance with rule 10 held at the same time as the election of the National President and Vice-Presidents under rule 9.
(f) The remaining delegates (including proxy delegates) from each State and Territory must be directly elected in a single ballot by proportional representation with affirmative action in accordance with rule 10 in the 12 months before each triennial National Conference in accordance with the rules of that State or Territory Branch.
2.2. In Part B, in rule 9, replace paragraphs (a) and (b) with:
(a) The National President and two National Vice-Presidents must be directly elected from and by Party members in the 12 months before each triennial National Conference, with separate ballots by proportional representation, the first for the National President and the second for the two National Vice-Presidents.
(b) The National Vice-President elected first is the Senior National Vice-President and the National Vice-President elected second is the Junior National Vice-President.
(c) The National President and National Vice-Presidents hold office from the beginning of the National Conference after they are elected until their successors take office.
2.3. In Part B, in rule 7, in paragraph (a), replace subparagraph (i) with:
(i) the National President and National Vice-Presidents, who are directly elected by Party members in accordance with rule 9(a), have the full rights of a delegate, including that of voting;
2.4. In Part C, replace NPO 4 with:
State and Territory Branch President and Vice-Presidents
4. Each State and Territory Branch must amend its rules so that its President and Vice-Presidents are directly elected from and by the Party members in that State or Territory on the same basis as the National President and Vice-Presidents under rule 9.
3. Integrity in our structures
3.1. In Part C, after NPO 1, insert new NPO 2:
2. Federal, State and Territory Ministers must report back to their respective Party Conferences on the implementation of platform and policy commitments.
3.2. In Part C, in NPO 5, replace paragraph (a) with:
(a) In all States the State Conference must comprise an equal number of delegates of affiliated unions and delegates directly elected by Party members in that State. The number of delegates who are not delegates of affiliated unions or delegates directly elected by Party members in that State must be no more than 5% of the total number of delegates. This principle applies to all State level Party bodies composed of direct representatives of affiliated unions and Party members. (This principle will not apply to Territory Branches until the proportion of unions affiliated is equivalent to that in the States.)
3.3. In Part C, after NPO 5, insert new NPO 6:
Voting
6. No delegate to any Party Conference or member of any Party body is entitled to exercise more than one vote, whether in their own right or as a proxy.
3.4. In Part C, in NPO 9, replace “subject to those delegates being members of that union and financial members of the Party” with “subject to those delegates being financial members of that union and of the Party”.
3.5. In Part D, add new resolution 16 to implement NPOs:
Affiliated Unions
16. That, in order to encourage the participation of more union members in the Party, affiliated unions be requested to ask members on joining or renewing their membership to become involved in the Party, through such means as voting in primaries, representing the union at Party conferences and joining the Party.
3.6. In Part B, replace rule 13 with:
National Policy Committees
13. (a) Within three months after each triennial National Conference, the National Executive must appoint the following National Policy Committees:
(i) Education and Skills,
(ii) Community Engagement,
(iii) Economic, Productivity, Innovation and Industry,
(iv) International and Legal,
(v) Social Policy, and
(vi) Sustainable Australia.
(b) Each committee must consist of a Chair, Deputy Chair and seven other members, all of whom have considerable experience in policy development.
(c) Each committee is responsible in its area of policy for:
(i) co-ordinating development of the Party Platform;
(ii) conducting ongoing reviews of the Platform;
(iii) preparing the draft Platform for consideration by National Conference;
(iv) actively participating in the formulation of policy at National Conference;
(v) taking into account all policy resolutions passed by State and Territory Conferences;
(vi) considering all policy resolutions sent to it by State and Territory Policy Committees and other constituent units;
(vii) in conjunction with State and Territory Policy Committees, conducting regular policy forums in which rank and file participation is encouraged; and
(viii) conducting a series of workshops and roundtables to consult with key community organisations, academics and researchers working in areas of policy innovation.
(d) Each committee is strongly encouraged to co-opt non-voting members with particular expertise in its policy area.
(e) Each committee must work closely with the convenors of the corresponding State and Territory Policy Committees, and will be resourced by the National Secretariat.
Consequently replace all references in the National Constitution to “National Policy Committee” with “National Policy Committees”.
3.7. In Part C, after NPO 14, insert new NPO 15:
Central Policy Branches
15. (a) State and Territory Branches should establish Central Policy Branches on the model of the New South Wales Branch in capital cities and major regional centres.
(b) The National Secretariat should assist Central Policy Branches by providing lectures, presentations and seminars online for Party members.
3.8. In Part B, amend rule 18 as follows:
3.8.1. In paragraph (a), subparagraph (i), replace “at its first meeting” with “within three months”.
3.8.2. In paragraph (a), subparagraph (ii), replace “three” with “five”.
3.8.3. In paragraph (c), replace “a member” with “three members”.
3.8.4. In paragraph (d), delete “on behalf of the National Executive ” and “; and making recommendations to the National Executive in relation to those appeals”, and replace “hearing” with “hearing and deciding”.
3.8.5. In paragraph (f), subparagraph (iii), delete “the National Executive and ” and replace “recommendations” with “decision”.
3.8.6. Replace paragraph (g) with:
(g) Decisions of the Tribunal are final and binding on all members, affiliated unions and constituent units.
3.8.7. In paragraph (h), delete “ and any direction of the National Executive”.
3.9. In Part C, in NPO 15, add new paragraph (e):
(e) The National Executive and State Administrative Committees may only intervene in preselections as a last resort, rather than a first resort, and then only in exceptional circumstances.
4. Engaging the community
4.1. In Part C, after NPO 15, insert new NPO 16:
Primaries
16. (a) The Party through its State and Territory Branches will establish a system of primaries for the selection of candidates both at a Federal and State level.
(b) Primaries will commence in open and non-held lower house seats and be considered for held seats in the future.
(c) The system will be tiered, with three weighted components:
(i) a 60% component drawn from local Party members,
(ii) a 20% component from participating members of affiliated unions, and
(iii) a 20% component from registered Labor supporters in the community.
(d) The system will have safeguards to protect its integrity and prevent corruption, including:
(i) the principle of one vote, one value will be enshrined to ensure that double or triple voting does not occur;
(ii) there will be minimum participation requirements in the union and community components to ensure that a low participation rate does not distort results;
(iii) all participants will be required to be enrolled to vote for a minimum of three months and have a verifiable address within the electorate; and
(iv) there will be an expenditure cap on all candidates.
(e) The National Executive will develop a detailed model and timetable to implement the system.
(f) Each State and Territory Branch must amend its rules to give effect to the model and timetable developed by the National Executive.
4.2. In Part C, after NPO 17, insert new NPO 18:
18. (a) The National Secretariat should establish a Labor supporters network in accordance with guidelines made by the National Executive.
(b) The network will be governed by a board of independent, senior Party people and young activists drawn from the Party, union movement and progressive third party organisations.
(c) It will provide progressive Australians with:
(i) an online presence where they can engage with progressive ideas and policies,
(ii) a place to organise progressive campaigns, and
(iii) an opportunity to engage with the Party.
4.3. In Part D, after new resolution 15, insert new resolution 16 to implement NPOs:
16. That the Party at a national level institute a Labor Community Dialogue program as has occurred at State levels of the Party, to facilitate access and discussion between the Party, community organisations and community leaders, and that this be supported by an active series of online engagement opportunities that would connect progressive community organisations with the Party at both a membership and parliamentary level.
4.4. In Part C, after NPO 11, insert new NPOs 12 and 13:
Non-Union Affiliates
12. State and Territory Branches should amend their rules to allow the affiliation of like-minded organisations, in addition to unions.
Campaign Groups
13. State and Territory Branches should grant campaign groups such as the Labor Environment Action Network and Rainbow Labor non-voting delegate rights at State and Territory Conferences and relevant policy committees, once they are able to demonstrate and verify membership of a sufficient size in accordance with criteria set by the National Executive.
5. Utilising online resources for Party growth
5.1. In Part C, in NPO 13, add new paragraph (n):
(n) Labor Connect should be expanded as a membership organising and campaigning tool.
6. Making affiliation meaningful
6.1. In Part B, in rule 17, add new paragraph (e):
(e) ALAC will include a Campaigns and Growth Forum based on the ACTU model, to connect affiliated unions, the Party and the FPLP into a more meaningful dialogue on shared challenges.
6.2. In Part C, in NPO 10, add new paragraph (c):
(c) The LAC will include a Campaigns and Growth Forum based on the ACTU model, to connect affiliated unions, the Party and the SPLP into a more meaningful dialogue on shared challenges.
PART B – AMENDMENTS TO THE NATIONAL CONSTITUTION RECOMMENDED BY THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE
7. Amendments to National Principles of Organisation
7.1. In Part C, replace NPO 3 with:
3. In all parliaments, the parliamentary leadership shall be elected by the Parliamentary Labor Party. It shall be the prerogative of the Leader of the Parliamentary Labor Party to select the Ministry or Shadow Ministry.
7.2. In Part C, in NPO 12, replace paragraph (b) with:
(b) All financial members of the Party are entitled to full membership rights one year after joining the Party. Those rights include being eligible for preselection and to stand and vote in Party elections. Each State and Territory Branch must amend its rules to give effect to this principle.
8. Amendments to Register of Conference Decisions
8.1. In Part E, resolution 4, add new paragraph (e):
(e) (i) Conference notes the enormous progress that has been made since 2002 towards achieving the targets in rule 10.
(ii) Conference is of the view that the final attainment of the targets in rule 10 needs to be balanced with the desirability of not interfering in the preselection of sitting MPs.
(iii) Conference recognises this is a complex issue, which requires detailed consideration by both the National Executive and the National Labor Women’s Network.
(iv) Accordingly, Conference directs the National Executive and the NLWN Executive to establish a joint working group to report back to National Conference on the most appropriate mechanism for implementing the view Conference has expressed in subparagraph (ii).
PART C – CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS
9. Removal of spent provisions
9.1. In Part C, in NPO 13, delete paragraphs (c), (d), (g), (h), (i), (j) and (k).
9.2. In Part D, delete resolutions 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 and 10.
10. Renumbering and cross-references
10.1. Consequent on the amendments to the National Constitution that have been made, renumber all provisions of the National Constitution and cross-references to them accordingly.

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