National Conference 2015 saw us come out of conference with Labor’s most progressive policy in decades, and significantly improved Left influence within the Party at a National level.
National Left Rank and File Convenor provides a 2015 Conference Wrap.
We went into the conference with a very strong base vote, but without a majority on the floor. As a result it was a National Conference marked by a much greater willingness to negotiate and compromise than ever before.
The Labor Party now has the most progressive economic platform we have had in decades, including endorsement of the Buffett Rule.
For the first time in history, we have a Labor Leader who is committed to legislating for marriage equality with a timeframe for making that policy binding on all Labor members of Parliament, should Abbott not allow his team a conscience vote on the issue.
The quality of the asylum seeker debate was one of the highlights of the conference, and demonstrated the importance of Labor’s conference debates in shaping where the country heads on important national issues. While the Left fought and lost on turnbacks, we will see strengthened protections for refugees, including a doubled humanitarian intake.
Other highlights included the commitment to see 50% of Australia’s energy needs sourced from renewables by 2030, and the inclusion for the first time of domestic violence leave in Labor’s national platform.
When the next National Conference meets every member will have had a say in the 150 delegates who will be directly elected to the Conference. Importantly for smaller states, a last minute attempt by the Right to remove the base component from state delegations was defeated.
Affirmative Action is now a real obligation, with substantial sanctions to apply to State and Territory Branches who do not deliver, and we have a timeframe and a process to move to true 50% representation of women.
We have insisted on a broad debate about our central purpose, rather than a simple deletion of the Socialist Objective.
And we now have 10 out of 20 voting members of the National Executive.
The organised Left has never before achieved these kind of outcomes at the National level.
Thank you all for your efforts, and let’s now make sure that before the next conference we fight hard at the next election to beat Tony Abbott and elect a Labor Government committed to these outcomes.
Rank and file convenor