On February 2, Administrators Steve Bracks and Jenny Macklin handed over administration of the Victorian Labor Party to the Interim Governance Committee.
Open Labor thanks Jenny and Steve for their important work, we welcome party monitor John Thwaites, and we congratulate the Interim Governance Committee on their appointment. They have a critical task, and we look forward to engaging with them. However, we have substantial concerns about the way the committee was appointed.
The committee comprises Susie Byers, Linda White (Socialist Left); Ben Davis, Michael Donovan (Labor Unity); and Lloyd Williams (Industrial Left). Its first act was to endorse Victorian Labor rule changes that support the Macklin-Bracks Report’s 37 recommendations.
On 7 December 2020, Open Labor wrote to ALP National Secretary Paul Erickson asking the National Executive to consider a non-factional member for the Interim Governance Committee amid concerns ordinary members were being left out of the reform process. A follow-up letter on 23 December included 107 members’ signatures. We also sent it to those National Executive members with a public email address. We have received no reply.
On 18 January, Paul forwarded our letter to the Interim Governance Committee via Acting State Secretary Chris Ford. On 27 January 2021, Open Labor followed up with Chris but received no response.
We hope the Macklin-Bracks Report signals a shift in transparent practice. But we need to call it out when practices fall short: the 107 signatories – and, by extension, all ordinary members – have been ignored. That’s not OK, and we will continue to advocate for a more transparent and democratic Labor Party.
Update: Open Labor has received a reply from Chris Ford 26 February 2021. We welcome the comments and will respond more fully shortly.
1. Macklin and Bracks Final Administrators’ Report.
2. Approved Draft Victorian Labor rule changes.
3. Eric Dearricott The current state of Victorian ALP reform.
4. Eric Dearricott The Macklin-Bracks reforms to Victorian Labor explained.
5. Jenny Macklin and Steve Bracks Final update to the membership on VIC labor reform.
6. Open Labor Members shut out of reform process.