FIVE KEY ISSUES VOTED ON AT LABOR’S NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SUNDAY
* PALESTINE, KIND OF RECOGNISED
The Left and Right managed to reach a deal, after intense negotiations on the conference floor, to work towards recognising a Palestinian state if peace talks with Israel stall again.
Labor will also call for Israel to stop expanding settlements in occupied territories and reject the boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against the country. Israeli ambassador Shmuel Ben-Shmuel watched on and senior Labor figures including Anthony Albanese and Jenny McAllister filibustered for more than an hour while the deal was nutted out.
* DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LEAVE
Labor’s added domestic violence leave to its list of workplace rights it believes all Australians should get. But CFMEU official Joe McDonald stole the show during debate with a passionate plea for everyone to do more to address the “war in the kitchen”. “F***ing stop it, f***ing fix it, do something about it,” he urged.
* GAY MARRIAGE
After three days of talks and rumours, the party agreed to bind its federal MPs to vote in favour of legalising same-sex marriage – in the parliament after next. But Bill Shorten promised he’d introduce marriage equality legislation within 100 days of being elected prime minister. Penny Wong, who received two massive standing ovations from the conference, said she would have wanted the party to dump the conscience vote now but at least it was on the way out.
* EQUAL REPRESENTATION FOR WOMEN
Labor made an historic agreement to ensure women hold 50 per cent of positions at all levels of the party organisation and get a greater shot at running for parliament by 2025. Union representative Linda White got a standing ovation for her speech introducing the move, which she said achieved the nearly impossible task of uniting the NSW Right and Victorian Left.
* MARTIN ON THE OUTER
Labor formally condemned former federal minister Martin Ferguson for his “self-serving commentary” over the past year or so that’s been damaging the party and unions. This was reference to his disparaging comments on general opposition to electricity privatisation. A trio of hardcore union bosses led the move against Ferguson, saying he didn’t deserve “to be considered a Labor elder and must be condemned as a disgraced former Labor politician”. The motion passed with resounding “ayes”. Ouch.