Unity Conference Minutes

Please find attached draft minutes of the 75th Anniversary Unity Conference, including resolutions on the following topics:

  1. that the Australian Labor Party should be a democracy based on membership control;
  2. that there will be a regular conference of local branches;
  3. there should be judicial oversight over the NSW Labor Party; and
  4. a series of rule and policy changes: reforms to public funding and fundraising, the banning of factional binding, and direct elections for party positions and for union delegates to conference.
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Agenda for Unity Conference 75th Anniversary Event

Saturday 15 November

Newtown Neighbourhood Centre
1 Bedford St, Newtown NSW 2042

What: Continue reading

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Reform is on the agenda for Country Conference (but it’s not looking good)

Country Labor Conference is this weekend.

There are a number of pro-democracy motions on the agenda (see pages 38-40):

  • election of Country Labor representatives on the Admin Committee, Country Labor Committee and other Country Labor positions by Country Labor Conference;
  • direct election of Country Organiser;
  • restrictions on factions targeting Young Labor members under 18;
  • equal weight vote of all members when filling vacancies; and
  • disclosure of electoral funding.

All were rejected on the grounds that members ought to be satisfied with the reform that was achieved at the 2014 Annual Conference.

There are two motions in support of Jodi Mckay. Both motions were ‘noted’ (i.e. rejected) with the words “Country Conference would like to thank Jodi McKay for her commitment to the Labor Party”. There is to be no apology, no expression of regret, no admission that Labor was in any way responsible for what happened. There is no commitment to expel or otherwise discipline those responsible.

And there is a motion asking for help with providing posters for polling booths that Labor no longer has enough membership to staff. Response in full: “Note”.

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Urgent need for Labor Unity – Unity Conference – 75th Anniversary Event

From Sean Macken and David Hetherington:

We are writing to invite your Branch to join the Erskineville Branch of the ALP at a conference to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the landmark Unity Urgent Need for Labor UnityConference which was held in our suburb in 1939.
The Unity Conference was a major milestone in the evolution of NSW Labor at which the deep divisions of the Lang era were overcome and a set of rules agreed which still largely govern the Party today.
We are inviting each local Branch in NSW to accredit two delegates to this anniversary event, where a range of ideas for Labor’s future will be debated.  Come along and take part in a debate on party democracy and reform.
The Conference will take place in Newtown on Saturday 15 November and will be followed by a Labor history walk in the afternoon and a celebratory dinner in the evening.
There will be no charge to attend the event.  Please RSVP to erkolabor at gmail dot com
We hope you can join us for this exciting event.
Yours sincerely
Sean Macken, President
David Hetherington, Secretary

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How to make Faulkner’s vision happen.

John Faulkner’s Revesby Speech contains a number of statements that lend themselves to being turned into motions, either rules change or policy changes:

Policy changes:

  • all political parties’ eligibility for public funding to be contingent on that party’s rules and decisions being justiciable
  • the donations disclosure threshold to be reduced from its current level of $12,800 to $1,000 and indexation removed
  • donations from foreign and anonymous donors to be banned
  • donation splitting across branches, divisions or units of parties to be limited
  • disclosure of donations to be fast and regular
  • breaches of electoral law to be an offence attracting significant penalties

Rule changes:

  • the practice of factions, affiliates or interest groups binding parliamentarians in Caucus votes or ballots to be banned
  • upper house candidates to be preselected by a full, statewide ballot of all Party members
  • State and National Conference to include a component of directly elected delegates, moving from the current model to: 60% directly elected, 20% elected by Affiliated Unions and 20% by Electoral Councils, reached in stages over the next three National Conferences
  • Union delegates to Party Conferences to be elected through a ballot of those union members that opt-in, conducted under the principle of proportional representation
  • for the purpose of determining union affiliation numbers, unions should only be able to count members who have agreed to their membership being counted towards that affiliation in an opt-in system
  • a binding code of conduct to be imposed on all candidates, parliamentarians and officials, Nationwide, as per the rules in NSW
  • community preselections with weighted votes from Party members equalling declared supporters to be the rule, rather than the exception

If we want to see John Faulkner’s vision for a reformed Labor Party come into being, we need to pass these motions at our branches, as many branches as possible. But that’s not enough. We need to pass these motions at electoral councils and electoral assemblies.  We need the motions to be sent to State Conference and Federal Conference. But that’s still not enough. We need to send delegates to State and Federal Conferences who will vote for these motions. There have been a lot of good motions that went down at conference because delegates didn’t support motions that their own electoral councils and assemblies and branches had passed. Once we have delegates at conference who are prepared to support these motions, then we’ll see real reform.


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Senator John Faulkner: Public Pessimism, Political Complacency: Restoring Trust, Reforming Labor

The inaugural address of The Light on the Hill Society
– sponsored by Revesby Workers Club

Senator John Faulkner: Public Pessimism, Political Complacency: Restoring Trust, Reforming Labor.

I have always believed that politics is worthwhile.

This is not, nowadays, a popular view.

Important issues are, we are told, ‘above politics’— because politics, by implication and expectation, are the province of the low road. Continue reading

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John Faulkner to speak on Reforming Labor.

John Faulkner will be speaking on reforming Labor.
Tuesday 7 October 2014
Revesby Workers’ Club Auditorium, 2b Brett Street, Revesby
RSVP: Daryl Melham: darylm@rwc.org.au by 3/10/14.
Please pass this on to any supporters of the cause of Labor reform who may wish to attend.

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