John Faulkner has proposed seven reforms he wants considered at next year’s State Conference:
- Party rules to explicitly be subject to the courts
- All decisions about party disputes in NSW to be taken out of the hands of party bodies controlled by the factions
- A “one strike and you’re out” policy for any Labor Party member found guilty of acting corruptly either within or without the party
- Preselection of Senate and Legislative Councillors by ballot of the full Party membership
- A Charter of Rights for members
- A Party integrity advisory service – open to all Party members – to be established
- Factions, affiliates or interest groups binding parliamentarians in Parliamentary Party votes or ballots to be banned
For these reforms are to happen, they need be passed by Annual State Conference. They need the support of at least half of the delegates to conference.
Delegates at State Conference are chosen as follows:
- 50% are chosen by affiliated unions. Union delegates are typically chosen by the Union Secretary. The Union Secretary or equivalent is, one way or another, elected by members of the Union.
- 61 or so delegates are there because a previous conference saw elected them to one of the following position: Secretaries General (3), Presidents (4), or convenor, deputy convenor or secretary of one of the 9 or so policy caucus (not to be confused with the policy forum).
- 16 delegates are chosen by the Federal Parliamentary Party
- 16 delegates are chosen by the State Parliamentary Party
- 16 delegates are chosen by Young Labor
- 186 delegates are chosen by State Electoral Councils (2 per SEC)
- 144 delegates are chosen by Federal Electoral Councils (3 per FEC)
There is one SEC per State Electorate and one FEC per Federal Electorate.
Each branch in an electorate, at its AGM, elects a number of delegates to each local Electorate Council, the number depending on the size of the branch. This normally happens in March.
Each electoral council, at its AGM, elects two delegates to conference.This normally happens in April. In addition, the rank and file members of each Federal Electorate will also directly elect a third delegate to conference. Some FECs may choose to let the members choose all three FEC delegates.
At last conference approximately 60% of delegates belonged to the Right faction, 30% to the Left, and perhaps 10% were not aligned with either major faction.
The Left delegates will probably support most of the proposed reforms. The Right delegates are likely to oppose all or most of the reforms.
Unless something changes, the reforms will be defeated or watered down.