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Decision Making in the Party

December 01, 2020

Most decisions within the Party follow a democratic decision-making process which sees either consensus or majority voting used to reach a determination on the subject or election.

Resolutions and decisions made in sub-branches and policy committees require the approval of the members at the meeting. Sometimes if there is contentious discussion a vote may need to be counted through a show of hands.

Some decisions within the branch can only be made by specific bodies, comprised of elected members that meet specific eligibility criteria. Delegates for Branch Conference and Branch Council for example must have been a member for 12 months and a member of the sub-branch in which they are standing for a delegate position for 6 months, in order to nominate for the position.

Ballots of members are also held to elect public office holders, the branch Executive, sub-branch positions and the Federal Parliamentary leadership. Members that wish to vote or stand in these ballots must meet different eligibility criteria as defined in the Party Rules.

Decision-Making Bodies

Branch Conference

Branch Conference is the peak decision-making body of ACT Labor, holding the highest degree of power in terms of policy, process and governance functions.

Conference is comprised of delegates elected by sub-branches, nominated by affiliated unions, and delegates from the Administrative Committee, Branch executive and public representatives.

Each year Conference is held to consider and debate changes to the Party’s Rules, Platform and other matters that have been brought to the Conference by the different party units.

Conference is the only body in ACT Labor with the power to change all sections of the rules and to make changes to the Platform. The Rules are our primary governing document and outline how the Party operates including our democratic decision-making process. The Platform outlines what we stand for as a party, highlighting our plan for addressing and removing the causes of social injustice in our community and what people can expect of our policies in government.

Other decisions brought to Conference for consideration and support may be resolutions that call for a specific action, highlight an issue that the Party or another group needs to resolve or investigate or acknowledge a positive outcome that may have occurred locally, nationally or internationally.

Branch Council

Branch Council is the place where delegates from our sub-branches and affiliated unions come together to debate significant policy questions and governance decisions outside of Conference. Branch Council is a decision-making body with fewer powers than Conference but still with the ability to make some decisions concerning policy, the Rules and receive reports from different groups or individuals in the Party.

Branch Council is comprised of voting and non-voting members who come together at quarterly meetings. Voting members include those delegates elected by sub-branches, nominated by affiliated unions, a representative from each of the Territory and Federal Parliaments, and a delegate from Young Labor. These members have the right to speak, move motions and vote during Council proceedings. Non-voting members have full speaking and moving rights but are not entitled to a vote.

Administrative Committee

This is the administrative authority of the Party and is comprised of the Executive, a representative from each of the Territory and Federal Parliaments, a Women’s Coordinator, the Young Labor President (non-voting) and fifteen delegates elected from Conference.

The Admin Committee has the power to carry out decisions and directions of Conference/Branch Council, oversees the financial management of the Party (in conjunction with the Finance Committee), and considers resolutions and reports on administrative matters.

Other Internal Bodies

There are a number of other internal decision-making bodies that are comprised of delegates elected at Conference and sub-branches.

Disputes Tribunal

Considers and resolves disputes about the interpretation of the rules, breaches of the rules and claims of intimidation or harassment.

Rules and Boundaries

Reports on any matter concerning the rules that may be brought to it from other Party units and drafts amendments to the rules as required.

Credentials Committee

Determines the eligibility of members to stand/vote in ballots and considers challenges to membership and continuity under the rules.

Campaign Committee

Oversees the planning, coordinating and administration of election campaigns.

Federal Electorate Councils

Helps to conduct federal electorate campaigns by coordinating activities and fundraising efforts.

Sub-branches also have a number of positions elected at their AGMs that facilitate their functions including an executive while Policy Committees have a Convenor and Secretary to assist with their administration.