Grasping the Nettle on Democratisation of the ALP

Mark Butler is ALP National President and the Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy

Back in 2015, I had the privilege of being elected National President of the Labor Party on a very clear platform of wanting to contribute to reforms that would see our great Party become more democratic and participatory, and substantially bigger and better organised. More than two years later, most of the meaningful changes that were discussed by Party members during that ballot have been blocked by factional leaders at the National Conference and various State Conferences. I’m sorry to say that ours remains a Party that gives ordinary members fewer rights than any other Labor or Social Democratic Party I can think of.

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Green spaces: not just nice to have, essential for Sydney's future

Penny Sharpe is a Labor Member of the NSW Legislative Council and the Shadow Minister for Environment, Heritage, Trade, Tourism & Major Events

So much of the post colonisation history of Sydney can be told through the battle between development and population growth versus preservation of our environment and heritage.

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Who are the workers now?

Andrew Hunter is a former speechwriter to South Australian Labor Premier Jay Weatherill and past National Chair of the Australian Fabians

For a decade between 1944 and 1954, some of the most decorated priests in France worked as manual labourers. I wrote a piece recently in The Adelaide Review about worker-priests, and argued that those who represent the working class in parliament would benefit from such close and ongoing connection with workers. The obvious question took little time in coming: who are the workers now?

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Is it possible to enact your entire platform in one term?

David Pink is National Vice President of Australian Young Labor

The last time Labor took power in Australia, it set out on an approach to governing focused on moderation and incremental change. There were big achievements, but the point was to stretch them out over a number of electoral cycles so that we could avoid scaring the electorate and prove that we were competent at governing. 

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The role of local government town planning for a better future

Liam Hogan is a history and heritage researcher

In 1919, the then Minister for Local Government, J.D. Fitzgerald, was responsible for the passing of NSW's Local Government Act. Exaggerating only slightly, the State has barely moved on. This nearly hundred year-old piece of legislation has had an incredibly strong influence over the direction and nature of planning in NSW, and indeed, Australia. Fitzgerald himself led the kind of interesting life that only the turn of the 20th century allowed: he was a typographical unionist, a reformist, female suffragist, and socialist in the late 19th century, was influenced by British Fabian ideas, was a town planning and municipal evangelist for Sydney, was a Federationist, and after the split of 1917, was a member of Holman's Nationalist NSW Government (which split from the Labor Party) and a Cabinet Minister. He is responsible for the layout of Daceyville, the worker's garden suburb in southern Sydney. He was a painter, he developed some of the basic ideals of town planning, and acted as a Commissioner for Chicago's famous 1893 World Columbian Exhibition. The influence of his Local Government Act, typically, has been long-lasting.

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