The American Democrats, The British Labor Party and the Australian Labor Party are all falling apart at the seams very quickly. At AIM we have seen this coming for a while, party politics is in its death throes. The Australian Labor Party has again exceeded all expectations in their standard of behaviour with their own delegates walking out. That’s huge news. Time for that change, Independents. We are not making this news up, the source is clearly at the bottom of this page.
Chaos breaks out at WA Labor conference as delegates walk out during Welcome to Country
WA Labor’s state conference has been engulfed by chaotic scenes, with a large number of delegates walking out, and the party’s president left on the verge of tears.
- The walkout happened during a Welcome to Country ceremony and Bob Hawke tribute
- The delegates say it was due to a motion from the left faction to disqualify a right-faction member, which the left lost
- Premier Mark McGowan was left to deliver his keynote speech to a half-empty room
Perth MP Patrick Gorman and WA Labor president Carolyn Smith were heckled by large parts of the crowd, including at least one state MP, with Premier Mark McGowan left to deliver his keynote speech to a more than half-empty room after a large number of delegates walked out.
The walkout by delegates of unions from Labor’s right faction occurred during a Welcome to Country ceremony and a tribute to Bob Hawke. The behaviour was described as “disgraceful” and “outrageous” by others within the party.
‘We should not be doing this’
It also prompted an emotional apology from Ms Smith, who was left fighting back tears as she said sorry to the individuals who performed the Welcome to Country.
“I hope I never again see a WA Labor conference that as our elders, our Noongar elders, are coming onto stage to welcome us, that people are … leaving the room,” she said.
“We should not be doing this. We should be thinking about our actions, because our actions have consequences.
“On behalf of our party, I apologise that that happened and again reinforce that that was not anything to do with you.”
Walkout unrelated to Welcome to Country: faction members
But members of the right faction say the walkout was prompted entirely by the conduct of the left in trying to disqualify a delegate from the Maritime Union of Australia, and had nothing to do with the tribute to Mr Hawke or the Welcome to Country ceremony.
Fears of factional brawls had lingered ahead of the conference, and extensive peace talks were held ahead of the meeting in a bid to present Labor as a united party of government, but these failed to quell substantial unrest.
Members of the right faction had been infuriated by an attempt by Mr Gorman to disqualify one delegate, who allegedly did not meet signup requirements.
But the right faction won that vote, indicating that the left faction — led by the United Voice union — had failed in its efforts to win back control of the party.
The right faction’s apparent control of the conference serves as a significant blow to Mr McGowan, whose core support base comes from the left faction.
While the Government has the power to ignore motions passed at party conferences, it will have long-term implications for policy and preselections.
The chaos began within five minutes of the party state conference commencing, with Mr Gorman’s motion incensing members of rival factions.
Disarray overshadows keynote speech
Upper House MP Martin Pritchard was angrily heckled from the crowd, while fellow state parliamentarians Samantha Rowe and Cassie Rowe were among those to walk out of the conference.
The chaotic scenes totally overshadowed Mr McGowan’s keynote speech, which included a promise to introduce industrial manslaughter laws to State Parliament by the end of the year.
That offence will carry penalties of up to 20 years in jail or fines of up to $20 million.
“Negligent or reckless employers must be held accountable for the conditions in their workplaces,” Mr McGowan told the crowd.
“Life is too precious not to set a high bar.”
Worksafe will also employ an extra 21 safety inspectors, as part of that crackdown on unsafe workplaces.
More than 250 Water Corporation employees will be transitioned back to the public service, Mr McGowan announced, with those jobs previously having been outsourced to the private sector.
Federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese is set to address the conference tomorrow, with fears from some in the party that he will also face a hostile reception given the chaos on the first day of the event.
In the wake of the conference, WA Liberal leader Liza Harvey issued a statement that said it showed Labor was ‘again at factional war with a range of issues’.
“The mass walkout by delegates today is a slap in the face to a lacklustre and humiliated Premier who has clearly lost the support of the rank and file of his own party,” Ms Harvey said.
“The end result is poor government for all West Australians.”
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