The Sydney Declaration – Renewing the ALP for the 21st Century

Via Stuart J. Whitman

For more than 100 years Labor’s vision, policies and leadership have been the foundation of a fair and just Australia. We have promoted social and economic progress by defending Australians against attacks on their working and living conditions, ensuring a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work and opened opportunity for more people.

Now, in this time of global economic and environmental distress Labor must transform itself to meet unprecedented challenges. With capacity unequalled at any time in human history for our talents and technology to overcome age-old problems of scarcity, disadvantage and poverty, Labor must rise to our mission to empower all people to achieve these ends.

Standing in solidarity with all those who strive for democracy, justice, equality and dignity, as members of the Australian Labor Party, we commit ourselves to the full implementation of the 2010 National Review recommendations endorsed by National Conference.

We call for the allocation of substantial resources to rebuild membership, empower local branches, utilise the power of the internet and embrace the community organising model recommended by Senator Faulkner, Steve Bracks and Bob Carr in their review.

We call for the establishment of Renewal Consultative Forums to enable grassroots members in every state to work closely with national and state implementation committees and party officers to ensure that Labor:

  1. Develops policies that clearly articulate and promote the Party’s vision, values and ideas.
  2. Empowers members to more actively participate in Party decision making.
  3. Grows membership through deeper engagement in our local communities.
  4. Innovates the Party’s capacity, infrastructure and technology to address the changing needs and potential of 21st century society.
  5. Embraces inclusiveness through genuine debates and democratic pre-selections of members who reflect the broad experience of the Australian community.

As passed at an ALP National Conference Fringe Forum Event in support of the recommendations of the 2010 National Review, Friday 2 December 2011.

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1 Response to The Sydney Declaration – Renewing the ALP for the 21st Century

  1. Ahmad Didi says:

    With the party’s primary vote down to 27%, New South Wales and Victoria losing the recent state elections, South Australia and Queensland about to lose their next state elections, anyone who doesn’t think that ALP is in diabolical trouble is in denial. Yet, denial is exactly how the party’s factional leaders responded to the recent call by Senator John Faulkner for party reform.
    So, how did ALP come to be in such a state? The reasons are; the Government’s inability to get its message across to the electorate and the party structure. Because of government’s lack of
    skills in selling its policies, there is a perception in the electorate that the government is incompetent.
    Late John Button in his essay, “Beyond belief: what hope for Labor” (Quarterly Essay 2002), said that the ALP, a political party of the left, devoted to social justice has an obligation to its members. Nothing has changed since 2002.
    Unless the government can learn to sell its policies, specially its carbon tax, engage with the electorate and reform the party structure, the ALP will stay an unelectable rump and will be a dead party after the next election.

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