18.2 C
Byron Shire
May 29, 2022

ALP Right bleeding on gay marriage

Latest News

Primex Sustainable Farming and Primary Industries Expo new date confirmed

After being postponed due to the flooding and ongoing wet weather the 2022 Primex Sustainable Farming and Primary Industries Expo and will now go ahead on November 10–12.

Other News

Progress at Ross Lane?

The perennial question 'is Ross Lane open?' edged closer to an answer yesterday, with Ballina Council discussing a range of options to solve the flooding problem which regularly cuts off Lennox's main access to the west. Ross Lane has been closed again this week.

Who gets a voice?

After my tirade (Echo 4 May), against proposed changes to the Code of Meeting Practice at Byron Shire Council,...

Action after the flood: Mullum residents discuss flooding

Mullumbimby Residents Association (MRA) held a public meeting at the Ex-Services Club on May 16, and with approximately 150 attending it exceeded expectations.

Keep your eyes and ears open for Albert’s Lyrebird

Tweed Council is asking that you put your best bird listening ears on this June and capture the sounds of a rare bird.

Tweed Council ‘opt in’ to States agritourism – with conditions

The ‘confusing’ Agritourism SEPP was once again back on the table at last week's Tweed Council meeting as Cr Firth pushed to 'opt-out' over the State government's lack detail on conditions.

Kevin Hogan returns for Page

Though the coalition government he represents is now in opposition, National Party candidate for Page, Kevin Hogan, has been returned to his seat and yesterday he released a statement to all media.

Theres no doubt a majority of Australians now support gay marriage but the political jostling required to get a change in the law is considerable. With the ALP national conference looming, Crikeys Andrew Crook crunches the numbers.

ALP equal love campaigners are confident of extracting significant ‘bleed’ from the party’s Right on gay marriage at next week’s national conference, with just 20 defectors required to change Labor’s official platform and by implication federal law.

Crikey understands that the numbers on the issue have been worked feverishly over the weekend to corral the required 201 delegates needed to enact the historic change and end discrimination.

While the Left is expected to vote broadly as a bloc, individual delegates from the Right are being directly pressed to flush out their true position. The majority of the Australian public support same-sex unions and Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who supports a self-defeating ‘conscience vote’, is primed for a fight.

Some of that support could come exclusively from Victoria. To get a sense how malleable the numbers are, the state’s 87 conference delegates (including Gillard) are divided into 40 Left and two non-aligned independents – all of whom would be expected to support the deletion of six key words from the Marriage Act.

On the Right are 21 so-called ‘Short-Cons’, seven aligned to the National Union of Workers and 17 from the socially-conservative Shop Assistants’ Union. While National Right convener and Victorian Senator David Feeney supports a conscience vote, there is significant potential for waverers within the NUW. And influential Australian Workers Union secretary Paul Howes has stumped for a free vote on the issue. The SDA, led nationally by the buttoned-down Joe de Bruyn, are not for turning.

One Left source told Crikey that the despite the PM ‘granting’ the conscience vote – a move that would actually require a rule change to comply with the current platform – the change to wording remained ‘very much a live issue’. Media reports to date have declared the debate ‘doomed’ in the wake of the PM’s intervention.

‘This is not about left and right… support for gay marriage spans the factions,’ they said, buoyed by yesterday’s national Left convergence at ANU in Canberra.

Insiders say the potential for mass defections is very real because the Right have to date framed their objections and initiatives in negative terms.

Nationally the Right has a slim majority – just 218 of 400 delegates. It has the numbers at the state level in Victoria, NSW and Queensland but not in Western Australia and Tasmania. In South Australia it maintains notional control, despite state secretary Kyam Maher hailing from the Left.

The Left’s self-confidence has ballooned in recent weeks, with caucus chair and Victorian Senator Gavin Marshall penning two swingeing Fairfax op-eds on same-sex unions and uranium exports.

Other issues on the table with some potential for traction include anti-dumping, changes to trade rules, industrial relations and domestic procurement. Live exports will also jostle for attention among the less contentious proposals on the environment and climate change.

As the official conference agenda makes clear, the main dose of colour and movement is expected to come on Saturday afternoon when debates fire up on the party’s constitution and rules.

The Left say the advocacy of the direct-election of national conference delegates, as recommended in the Bracks/Carr/Faulkner review report, would prevent the manipulation of the current college system. Despite dissent from United Voice, union influence would in fact be maintained. In the case of Victoria, the trade union half of state conference would continue to elect delegates, with senior Left sources maintaining this morning that the ‘critical issues of disaffection’ would be addressed by the change.

Pitt Street’s Zilver Chinese Restaurant is shaping as a Left discussion hub. The famous dim sim menu is a prime attraction for activists, who’ve also acknowledged the cortex-stimulating qualities of the wok-tossed snake beans with oyster sauce.

Next Thursday’s ‘Rainbow Labor’ fringe program kick-off at the Belvedere Hotel is expected to raise apparatchik pulses as delegates raid closets to attend in full or partial drag.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Reasons to be cheerful

After nine long years of being led by the least among us, Australia’s future feels optimistic. Thanks, Western Australia, you were instrumental in booting those numpties out! 

Regrets for treatment of Wardell CORE?

After Ballina Council's recent decision, at its Finance and Facilities Committee Meeting, to effectively evict the Wardell Community Organised Resilience Effort (CORE) from the War Memorial Hall, in mid-flood recovery, some were having second thoughts at their Ordinary Meeting yesterday.

Keep your eyes and ears open for Albert’s Lyrebird

Tweed Council is asking that you put your best bird listening ears on this June and capture the sounds of a rare bird.

Progress at Ross Lane?

The perennial question 'is Ross Lane open?' edged closer to an answer yesterday, with Ballina Council discussing a range of options to solve the flooding problem which regularly cuts off Lennox's main access to the west. Ross Lane has been closed again this week.